Today is the day: SCI FI Channel, the home of the Stargate franchise for the past seven years, is now Syfy. (That’s officially a lowercase letter F, friends.) The rebranding officially kicks off today with a new name, new logo, new tagline (“Imagine Greater”), and the premiere of the cable network’s new original series, Warehouse 13 (tonight at 9 p.m. / 8 Central).
The channel’s programming foci, however, will stay the same: not just traditional science fiction, but also more Earth-based fare like Eureka and Warehouse 13, Saturday night creature features, and reality shows like Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth.
“It’s a brand that catches up with our programming,” Craig Engler, senior vice president and general manager of Sci Fi Digital, told Wired.com. “It is our stake in the ground. Last year was tremendous for us, with Battlestar Galactica getting recognition as one of the best dramas on television. But I also judge our success by how much I see people in media and life use the word frak.”
Among the reasons for the switch: “Syfy” is a unique and trademarkable brand name, unlike the generic genre descriptor “sci-fi.”
On the Web, the network has officially kicked off the new Syfy.com. Like its predecessor, the phonetically identical SciFi.com, it’s probably going to maintain claims to the highest-traffic genre site on the Internet (nearly 5 million unique visitors a month).
The site’s popular science fiction news service was recently spun-off to its own site, and remains at SciFiWire.com.
SCI FI first launched in September of 1992, and is currently in 95 million homes in the United States. Syfy is (still) a division of NBC Universal Cable. The network hopes to reach 50 channels internationally by the end of next year.
Stargate Universe, the third series in the franchise that helped make SCI FI Syfy a Top 10 cable network, premieres in October. A new teaser will air with Warehouse 13‘s premiere tonight.