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SyFy Needs More Ghost Shows

syfy show

Garfield can never get enough lasagna, crackheads can never get enough crack and the SyFy channel can never get enough ghosts. Sure you might think that the 50 ghost shows that the SyFy channel already has are enough, but the painkiller addicted housewives and lab monkeys who are the only ones watching the SyFy channel can’t get enough of fake ghost shows. So it’s making more.

“Want to investigate America’s most haunted locations on a new #Syfy series?

SEEKING GROUPS OF 3-4 PEOPLE. Group can consist of friends, family members and/or couples. (All groups must have 3-4 people, so if a couple is in the group, there must also be a friend and/or family member to make it a group of 3).

Ideal groups have at least one person who is a believer in the paranormal and one who is a skeptic. It is also preferred if someone in the group is legitimately afraid of the dark.

Are you crazy? Stupid? Have no dignity whatsoever? Do you even know what dignity is? Then climb aboard the SyFy Ghost Channel Express.

Required skills.

1. The ability to see ghosts in wallpaper stains.

2. A copious supply of hallucinogens

3. Already maxed out blood and sperm donor income

4. Fake scream

5. Aspiring model/actor looking for something to do now that fake talk shows and fake dating shows aren’t on the air.

But at least this time they’re investigating “America’s Most Haunted Locations”. Before that they were investigating the least haunted locations. No wonder they weren’t getting anything.

Here’s one more thing. Can SyFy do one last name change? Change it to something like the Ghost Network or the Spook Channel or If You’re Watching This You’re Probably Incontinent.

Supercrap! = SyFy + M. Night Shyamalan + Marti Noxon Ruin the Universe

This is so horrible that it’s almost wonderful. It’s like Michael Bay hiring Damon Lindelof to make a movie about robot monkeys who fight crime or Joel Schumacher and Akiva Goldsman teaming up to make Aquaman.

M. Night Shyamalan is a formerly talented director turned deluded hack. Marti Noxon ruined Buffy. The SyFy Channel has dumped Science Fiction and is just doing stuff about ghosts. And they’re all teaming up!

The cable network has given a put-pilot commitment to a project from Shyamalan and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Marti Noxon titled Proof. Proof centers on the son of a billionaire tech genius who, following an accident that claims his parents’ lives, offers a large reward for anyone who can find proof of life after death.

This is great and by great, I mean it’s a tremendous pile of crap. This is like hell being other people and this project is exactly where they all deserve to end up.

M. Night Shyamalan ruined his career. Marti Noxon ruined Buffy. The SyFy Channel ruined itself. M. Night Shyamalan is horrible and thinks he’s a genius. Marti Noxon is horrible and thinks she isn’t. Both of them think they marry style and content when they don’t have either one. And the SyFy Channel thinks it appeals to sophisticated viewers when it actually appeals to housewives addicted to Oxycontin. So this is brilliant.

Google Marti Noxon and the first Google Instant suggestion is “Marti Noxon Ruined Buffy” followed by “Marti Noxon Ruined Everything“. That last one is probably unfair since after Buffy, Marti Noxon worked on crap like Private Practice and Glee, and it’s not actually possible to ruin those things. You can truthfully accuse Marti Noxon of ruining Buffy, but not of ruining Private Practice because Marti Noxon did ruin Buffy. But you can’t accuse her of ruining the entire universe. Not just yet. The first search brings you to feminist blogs claiming that Marti Noxon is being accused of ruining Buffy because she’s a woman, not because she wrote its worst episodes and oversaw its worst season. Only because of her chromosomes. But if this was sexism, then why isn’t Jane Espenson being hated on?

Marti Noxon is horrible and while she doesn’t get all the credit for ruining Buffy, she gets a lot of it. Maybe most of it. Not to mention that Marti Noxon is a middle aged woman who desperately tries to talk like a teenager. When you interview her, you’re supposed to mention how young she looks and sounds. Actual viewers hate what she does, hipster outlets like Boing Boing and I09 love her. But they’re going to have to learn to love Proof, which will be hilarious.

Separately the SyFy Channel, Shyamalan and Marti Noxon are completely terrible batches of crap. Together they’re where they belong.  Writing and directing crap about ghosts on the crap ghost channel. They’re not just crap anymore. They’re supercrap.

SyFy, Shymalan and Marti Noxon are talent black holes. They ruin everything they touch. Anything good that falls into them vanishes into another dimension. Together they might just destroy each other.

Also robot monkeys who fight crime please.

The SyFy Channel is All Ghosts, All Crap, All the Time

Remember when there was once a Science Fiction network? Isn’t that so weird. An entire cable channel dedicated entirely to Science Fiction.

syfy show
Good news ghost fans, that channel has since been banished and was renamed SyFy and now has all ghosts all the time.

We talked before about how the SyFy Channel completely abandoned Science Fiction to just air crappy knock off Reality shows non-stop and we talked about why the SyFy Channel decided to abandon Science Fiction programming.

But the incredible thing is that the SyFy Channel is now basically all-ghosts all-the-time.

SyFy has “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files”, “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Hunters International” , “Ghost Mine”, “Haunted Highway”, “Haunted Collector”, “Paranormal Witness”, “School Spirits” and “Destination Truth”.

The latest episode of Destination Truth is…. “The Ghosts of Cannibal Village”. It’s like the title of the perfect SyFy movie, except there won’t be any ghosts or cannibals. Just a moron in khaki trying to make up stories in his spookiest voice before going back to his hotel in Fiji.

How desperate is SyFy for this crap? It’s making crappy knock-off shows out of its crappy knock-off shows which it stole from less crappy knock-off shows of popular shows on other channels.

Let’s take “School Spirits”, the latest SyFy offering for the mentally retarded.

School Spirits will tell true ghost stories of hauntings that have happened at schools across the country. The stories will be told in first person narratives through the testimonials of real students, teachers, parents and staff that have encountered the paranormal activity, blended with bone-chilling cinematic reenactments to further bring the haunting experiences to life.

So School Spirits is like every other show on the SyFy Channel, except it’s narrowed down to schools. What’s next? “7-11 Spirits”? Nah needs a Hollywood angle. “Spirits of Make Up”. Authentic makeup artists will discuss their stories of being haunted by ghosts with actual reenactments we did for 50 cents in the back of a 7-11.

But the SyFy Channel is not actually all ghosts all the time. It’s just 90 percent ghosts. Then there’s brand new original programs like this.

Hot Set – From the producers of Syfy’s hit series Face Off, Hot Set is an extreme design challenge pitting two Hollywood production designers each week in a head-to-head battle to design, build, decorate and ultimately create an original and signature movie set that transports the viewer into an immersive world.

If you need a better explanation for why SyFy is such a worthless shitpile now, consider this.

The SyFy Channel could order programs that feature makeup and sets as vehicles for telling a story. Instead they order shows where the whole point of the show is creating a set and doing makeup. That’s like cancelling COPS and ordering a TV series about cameras.

Some SyFy executive must have interrupted his couch casting session for one minute and said, “Hey, we’re ordering all these shows with makeup and sets in them. Why not make shows about makeup and sets?”

I don’t know if SyFy can get any cheaper and trashier, but here’s my proposal.

“Ghost Network”

Ghost Network will tell true ghost stories of hauntings that have happened at SyFy’s offices and on the sets of its award winning shows about ghosts. The stories will be told in first person narratives through the testimonials of real executives, coke dealers, directors, former prostitutes, enslaved children, best boys and assorted homeless people pretending to be ghosts who encounter actual ghosts, blended with bone-chilling cinematic reenactments of people pretending to encounter ghosts who encounter actual ghosts who turn out to be people pretending to encounter ghosts who think they’re encountering ghosts to further bring the haunting experiences to life.

Why SyFy Abandoned Science Fiction

SyFy is Dead

This isn’t about the woman looking contemplatively at one of the worst programming slates on television , she doesn’t exist except as a heavily photoshopped model who probably thought she was posing for some ad that required her to be mildly amused, maybe at her new phone or the plight of children somewhere.

This is about what SyFy thinks she represents and what it wants ad buyers to think she represents.

This isn’t just another ad pitching SyFy to viewers, this is an ad pitching it to media buyers. This is the audience that SyFy wants to have.

Let’s start out with the obvious. She’s not a man. That’s not coincidental. Women are where the ad dollars are now.

She’s an “Igniter” who “sparks trends”, which means the ad dollars go further because she influences the buying habits of others. That’s a load of crap, especially when it comes to SyFy Channel viewers, but this is the brass ring of advertising.

Now imagine the exact opposite of this coolly amused young woman who influences her friends to buy major brands by making them seem cool? If you answered a viewer of Science Fiction television, as imagined by SyFy executives to be a fat middle-aged man, you are correct. And that is the audience SyFy doesn’t want, because it’s the audience their USA bosses don’t want.

But don’t take it from me, take it from the SyFy pitch.

Syfy has a target audience in mind: people with a shared mindset of curiosity, optimism, creativity and open-mindedness that drives them to take risks, push boundaries and challenge the status quo. They call these people—who are the first to find and try new things and share those finds with others—”Igniters.”

This their target audience. It’s not people who like Science Fiction, it’s people who watch SyFy shows about ghost hunting and makeup because they “push boundaries” and “challenge the status quo”. They’re exactly like Occupy Wall Street, except they buy stuff, instead of protest.

If you want to promote your new Samsung phone or non-alcoholic cranberry drink to an audience that will convince other people to try it, come and pitch to the viewers of our cooking shows and makeup shows and stuff we put together as cheaply as possible in order to build that quality “Igniter” audience.

Founded in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, Syfy is celebrating its 20th anniversary by embracing the innovation of Igniters. What exactly is an Igniter? To develop the psychographic profile, Syfy has used both Simmons data and a custom study conducted with PSFK. Simmons demonstrates that Igniters are the first to find, try and buy new products and then influence the masses to do the same. The PSFK study adds that Igniters are a powerful force in today’s market because portability and social media have given rise to new tools.

This is a ton of nebula gasses, but SyFy needs to sell this to position its viewers as savvy post-television influencers who will go out and have an impact on social media.

Look at what’s missing from the picture.

The words “Science Fiction” and “Fantasy” never appear in this piece. Superhero and supernatural are okay. Those aren’t, even when HBO is doing great with Game of Thrones. (HBO is also careful to avoid the “F” word when talking about Game of Thrones.) The name change wasn’t an accident. The former SciFi channel doesn’t want to be associated with Science Fiction. It wants to be associated with an audience it can’t have.

SyFy can’t get the flavored vodka and hot nightspots audience it’s pretending to have. It can’t have it because it’s cheap, its programming is risk free and crap. It wants to pretend that it offers million dollar value to advertisers while running a 99 cent store full of crap that no one else wants and its original programming is indistinguishable from the reality TV on every other channel.

The audience it has is not the audience it wants. It wants models who smile ambiguously at unseen things in the air. SyFy has an abusive relationship with its audience. Eventually it will drive away the last of its unique audience and be stuck with the kind of people who want to watch idiots pretending to chase ghosts around a set or who will sit through a show about makeup artists and a third-rate cooking show.

And then finally SyFy will have the audience it deserves. The 99 cent store of cable television will have 99 cent store viewers. Maybe they’ll even ignite a ghost chasing trend and then “share” it on social media.

SyFy Weasel Craig Engler Pens Weasel Letter

You know canceling Stargate Universe might have been more defensible if SyFy actually had Science Fiction shows on its schedule, and I don’t mean Small Town Where Wacky Stuff Happens or Mysterious Warehouse or British Show We Ordered Because It Has a Good Looking Vampire and We Know That’s Hot Now. I mean Science Fiction.

But it’s not. SyFy is not in the Science Fiction business, it’s in the Reality Show business. It’s in the ghost show business, the wrestling business, the cooking show business and the pawn stars business. Not the Science Fiction business. So go ahead and shovel it on.

If we didn’t like science fiction we simply wouldn’t have made SGU. It’s because we like science fiction that we tried it. Even though SGU was ultimately unsuccessful, we don’t regret trying it.

Seriously, say that with a straight face. You made SGU because it was part of a well known franchise that did well enough. Craig admits that the show was only ordered because of that. If SGU had been named Destiny Flies Through Space. It would never have gotten an order.

And no you don’t like Science Fiction. Your schedule proves it.

Science fiction shows are the backbone and lifeblood of our network, and we have many in development.

Yeah you have a cooking show, two antiques roadshow shows, two behind the scenes of film shows, wrestling, two shows about finding relics and a ton of shows about ghosts. Your backbone and lifeblood are crap.

Later this year we’ll be debuting Alphas, the Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome pilot is being worked on as you read this, the movie Red Faction starring Stargate Universe‘s Brian Jacob Smith will air next month

Craig Engler proves his love for Science Fiction by citing their version of Mutant X, a third Battlestar Galactica reboot spinoff (after they canceled the second one) and a video game movie. Does Engler think viewers are retarded? Obviously.

SyFy ordered more ghost shows than Science Fiction shows. And I don’t mean shows about ghosts, but shows where people run around with cameras shrieking that they felt the temperature drop because they lost their last traces of dignity doing this.

5 of our original dramas will return with new seasons or new episodes this year, and we’re working on many more behind the scenes.

Like the Wrestling/Global Myths/Cooking show. It’s called Wrestling with Quantum Archeology. Or the exciting Science Fiction epic. Sharkopolus meets Octosaur.

We would have happily kept making SGU regardless of anything else on our schedule if the ratings were sustainable. We don’t discontinue successful shows to make room for other shows … no network does because no network has a full roster of successful series. SGU was judged solely on its own ratings.

Does the name Farscape ring any bells? Yes I thought it did.

Stargate Universe was canceled because SyFy thinks it can make more money making lamer versions of History Channel shows. And they’re probably right.

SyFy Now Just All Ghosts and DaVinci Code All the Time

It’s now a collection of crap indistinguishable from the rest of cable TV.

Let’s start with the most baffling thing here

Culture Shock with Tommy Lee — This one-hour investigative travel show follows Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee as he attempts to uncover the various rituals, symbols and other mysteries of secret societies around the world.

No you’re not crazy. This is an actual thing on which a lot of money was spent. Read more.

Tommy Lee will dig into the history behind the secret society, search out its meeting locations and members, and meet with former members to reveal the society’s rituals and deepest secrets.

I could make jokes, but this defies comedy. And sanity. Forget the DaVinci Code, when you have Tommy Lee investigating secret societies.

Legend Quest — Premiering in July — This fast-paced action-adventure series follows Ashley Cowie, a real-life symbologist, as he travels the world in search of some of history’s greatest relics and artifacts, all of which are believed to hold hidden powers and mystical significance for ancient and modern cultures. Each episode will include Indiana Jones-type adventure and Da Vinci Code-style connections as the hidden truths and alternative theories of these mythical objects are explored.

This is the same thing except without Tommy Lee. It’s almost as stupid, but it’s not stupid enough to be entertaining in a Charlie Sheen Assassins Warlocks way.

But isn’t this what the History Channel and Learning Channel used to do before they switched to shows about ice truckers, coal miners and lumberjacks? This is the SyFy channel following after third rate channels and feeding off their excreta.

But SyFy still has ghosts. You can’t take ghosts away from it. If you took the ghosts away, it would just be wrestling, syndicated reruns, monster movies and static.

Haunted Collector (working title) — Premiering in June — Ghosts and spirits inhabit more than just homes and buildings — they can also live in objects. John Zaffis and his family are renowned paranormal investigators, tracking down haunted items like paintings, guns, jewelry and dolls. Once identified, the items are collected and stored in their museum, helping John’s clients bring normalcy back to their lives.

No this isn’t a drama, it’s a reality series. So there’s going to be some idiot walking around and dragging back this crap while people tell stories about it. Ghost Hunters meets Antiques Roadshow. I bet that was even the pitch.

Paranormal Witness — Premiering in September — From Raw TV, the acclaimed creative team behind Locked Up Abroad and Gold Rush Alaska, this tense, filmic and high-octane drama-documentary series brings to life the stories of people who have lived through paranormal experiences that defy explanation

What defies explanation is why take over a Science Fiction channel and fill it with ghost reality shows, when you can just shortcut the process and make a Ghost TV channel. Go on and do it. Rename SyFy to Ghosty or GHST or SPUK or something stupid and we can get this over with.

But no wait, more ghosts

In the Dark — In the Dark follows a misfit group of third tier ghost hunters whose misguided efforts tend to highlight their incompetence rather than any paranormal activity.

This is actually scripted, probably a sitcom. But who needs to see this, when it’s going to be a version of Ghost Hunters that you’re supposed to laugh at. Kind of redundant. Anyone who isn’t mental laughs at Ghost Hunters already.

Monster Man – When Hollywood studios want a bizarre creature, monster prop or out-of-this world alien, they turn to Cleve Hall and his very unique, family business.

So it’s another Face Off. How many more clones can there be? Who cares.

Stunts Unlimited — Stunts Unlimited is an elite and exclusive fraternity of artists committed to a very imaginative, creative, unique and dangerous craft — movie stunts

Right my bad. Can’t wait for the Caterers of the Stars show that goes inside behind the scenes to the exclusive fraternity of movie caterers. Hell’s Kitchen meets Face Off. Also throw in some ghosts. Can’t miss.

Hi Tech Hoaxes — The series where the supernatural, the mythical and the astonishing leave the big screen and step into people’s everyday lives. Each week two teams will go head-to-head to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for an unsuspecting pair of people, who are about to have their world turned upside down for a brief, thrilling moment.

So Scare Tactics meets Punk’d. I bet that was the pitch too.

Dinner with Deepak — If you could invite three people to dinner, who would they be? Best selling author and spiritual teacher Dr. Deepak Chopra dines and joins in conversation with some of the greatest minds and creators in the world today.

We’ve reached bottom. That’s it. Nowhere to go now.

Tyler Shields — A docu-series featuring unconventional photographer Tyler Shields and his team as they create worlds that are always surprising, shocking, and totally surreal. This Los Angeles-based artist is one of the most creative and original photographers working today. His subjects are celebrities, actors, models, and everyday people captured in magical, beautiful, and often dangerous situations.

Wait, we’ve gone lower. This is a show about a celebrity photographer in LA. But that’s it. This has to be as bad as it gets.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack — 2012 — While everyone else runs scared, vacationing Jerseyites fend off shark attacks on the shore. A production of ARO Entertainment.

Ah #%*&

Will the last creature still watching the SyFy channel please turn out the lights.

Every Cable Channel is Now the Same

So there I was walking down the street and minding someone else’s business, when I saw an ad for Larry the Cable Guy on the History Channel. What is Larry the Cable Guy doing on the History Channel? Same thing Ax Men, Top Gear, Pawn Stars, American Pickers and all the other generic reality TV shows are doing there.

What about A&E which is pushing what looks like a weight loss reality tv show, along with Dog the Bounty Hunter, Storage Wars and more crap than you can shake a stick at. Or The Learning Channel which has American Chopper, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Cake Boss, What Not To Wear and Toddlers and Tiaras.

Is there any kind of brand in all this madness? How do you tell which show should be associated with A&E, TLC or the History Channel. You can’t. It’s all the same crap. SyFy has Ghost Hunters, Hollywood Treasure, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen and WWE Smackdown (but don’t worry, they canceled Stargate Universe so no one starts associating them with Science Fiction).

It’s like no channel has a brand anymore, just a collection of crap filmed by people with a camera that they hope someone will watch. Half of cable programming is now the same kind of thing you can find on YouTube but with better advertising, lighting and marketing.

Being Human

Being Human isn’t on the SciFi or SyFy Channel, because it’s a remake of a fan fave British series. That’s probably how it came to the attention of SyFy bosses. But it’s a high profile launch because it’s tangentially relevant, but only in a way that attracts people who wouldn’t watch actual Science Fiction or fantasy.

Take the pitch, a vampire and a werewolf, two things that are hot right now thanks to Twilight, in a sitcomy situation with a girl. It’s almost like there’s nothing genre about it, except in a way that attracts the teenage girls who wouldn’t otherwise give the show the time of day. Like so much the SyFy Channel does, Being Human is badly shot, badly acted and badly lit. It looks cheap, it feels cheap and it’s a minimal hit.

SyFy didn’t spend money making this show. It spent the money promoting it. Look around and you’ll see more ads for it on every corner. That’s how they got the ratings. Whether they’ll be able to keep them is another story. The viewers they want the most are the viewers who stick around the least. I couldn’t make it through more than a few minutes of the Being Human first episode. But I don’t matter. And the Vampire Chronicles viewers are not going to be in this for the long run.

The Stargate Universe cancellation

Like a lot of other things, shocking but not that shocking. Stargate Universe followed the Star Trek formula, complete with a beloved original series and spinoffs of diminishing popularity. Stargate Atlantis couldn’t perform at the level of the original Stargate and wound up canceled. Stargate Universe turned in a darker and higher quality show that alienated a lot of franchise fans. But Stargate Universe was picking up viewers initially throughout the first season. Unlike a lot of doomed shows, it improved on its premiere. But then things went south. The second season never brought back the ratings. Which is a shame. Because Stargate Universe might have imitated Ron Moore’s BSG reboot, but it was many of the things that show wasn’t. After the cancellation of Enterprise, it was also the last major show to focus on space exploration.

Guess we should have known how that would go.

Rotten Apples to SyFy

The thing where fans of canceled shows launch protests by sending food to TV executives was always a little on the stupid side, but at least they usually sent food with a better sell by date. Caprica fans are sending apples. Which is funny and everything, except it means they’re really sending over a lot of rotten fruit. When Jericho fans sent in nuts and Veronica Mars fans sent in Mars bars (at least that one made sense), apples bruise and spoil. So while networks can pass along food to homeless groups that collect unwanted food, sending out apples is just a waste of food. By the time they go through the system, it’s just making a mess. Not that it matters to all 4 Caprica fans, but come on.

Caprica was a long way from a hit show. Calling on viewers to mount “an organized boycott of the SyFy network and their sponsors for the cancellation of Caprica.” is just stupid. Which sponsors are you going to be boycotting anyway? The ones who were buying ads on that show you liked. The SyFy channel probably has more experience dealing with fans angry over canceled shows, than any executives out there. If there’s a group that you’re not going to convince that way, it’s them.

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