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Syfy Picks Up Even More Wrestling, Moves Its Friday Night Programming To Tuesdays

The good news is: Syfy's no longer condemning its strongest programs to the Friday night death slot of death. The bad news is: the move comes because Syfy is picking up World Wrestling Entertainment's hit program Friday Night Smackdown. As The Hollywood Reporter puts it somewhat drily, "It's just the network's latest step away from its sci-fi roots."

Syfy's Craig Engler Tweeted quite a bit about the change yesterday:

Basically, sports are GREAT for TV. Sports bring younger viewers and drive live viewing, and they bring in a relatively broad audience, i.e. more new viewers. We looked at a number of fantastical sports to see if they'd fit with our audience, including really fun things like Kaiju Big Battel. Which, side note, led to an amusing e-mail to me from Barry Diller back when he owned us, asking "What the hell is Kaiju fighting????" We ended up trying wrestling out because it has larger than life heroes and villains and "fantastical thrills" as we like to say...

Wrestling has both a lot of overlap w/existing viewers and brings in new ones, so it's a great way to showcase our other programs... [Sports programming] balances out our programming mix and brings in new viewers.

On a personal side note, the awesomeness of THEY LIVE could not have been achieved w/out wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper IMO... Hm, now that I think about it there have been some other great sci-fi/fantasy movies with wrestlers in them. Andre the Giant in Princess Bride and Jesse Ventura in Predator, The Rock in The Scorpion King (well, I liked that one anyway).


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Remember when A&E and Bravo were dedicated to arts programming? When MTV was dedicated to music videos? And the History Channel was the Hitler channel? All these networks are abandoning their original niche premises for cheap, broad appeal to the lowest common denominator.