The new president of the Sci Fi Channel has a dream, and that dream is apparently to make sure that you will never be able to escape the Sci Fi Channel. Channel president David Howe has a scheme to branch out into comics, video games and advertising. The first guinea pig: alien infiltrator show The Stranded.
The Stranded, based on a forthcoming Virgin Comics graphic novel, is about a group of people who discover they're actually superpowered aliens. Sci Fi and Virgin are developing the project together, and and it'll also spawn a video game. (But there's no word on who'll write, produce, or star in this show.)
And that's just the beginning. New Sci Fi president David Howe is telling advertisers it's not enough to be the fifth-biggest cable channel anymore; in fact, television itself is too small. Speaking to TV Week, Howe explained:
What we're trying to do is not migrate away from the cable screen, but actually build a business which enables us to own the entire sci-fi/fantasy category... What that means from a development perspective is we need to no longer develop TV shows, we need to develop [intellectual property] that can enable us to tell those same stories across various platforms.
One of the reasons that the Sci Fi Channel works so well as a potential multimedia empire, according to Howe, is its advertiser-friendly audience:
We know for a fact that the audience that watches Sci Fi the TV channel is also the same audience that's playing video games, that is downloading content on their iPhones, that is out there buying licensed products... our audience is committed to us as a brand, committed to our content, and therefore has an openness to advertisers and an ability to recall advertisers' brands within the ad break in a way that sets us apart from other networks.