Exciting news, sci-fi fans! The Syfy TV channel has announced several new upcoming shows, and is planning a "reboot" for mid-June, when it will refresh its look and officially launch a new website aimed at fans of science-fiction shows.
Ahead of the channel's 25th anniversary in September, Syfy — the channel that hosts space adventures such as "The Expanse" and fantasy series such as "The Magicians" — will revamp its design and programming to focus on fandom.
"As the only television network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we're building the ultimate universe for this passionate community to call home," Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said in a statement provided to Space.com. ["The Expanse" Authors Talk Space's Epic Size and Crazy Sci-Fi Tech]
New original series
Perhaps the most exciting news for sci-fi and fantasy fans is the reveal of multiple upcoming original shows.
While Syfy has always had great shows — think "Battlestar Galactica" — the channel is planning to expand its programming in four areas: science fiction, fantasy, the paranormal, and superheroes and comics.
The network has at least three exciting new shows currently in development.
"Happy!" will be the television adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, which follows the life of Nick Sax, a former detective turned assassin with a serious drug addiction. Christopher Meloni will star when the show premieres.
An unusual Superman origin story is also coming to Syfy. "Krypton," which will premiere in 2018, will follow Seg-El, Superman's grandfather, as he attempts to protect his planet. The story shows the beginning of Krypton's decline. Cameron Cuffe will play Seg-El.
The network is also working to bring a show called "Nightflyers," which is based on a novella of the same name by author George R. R. Martin), to life. His novels form the basis of the HBO hit show "Game of Thrones." The novella follows a group of scientists who travel to space in search of a mysterious alien creature and are thwarted by their spaceship's AI.
These three shows join Syfy's previously announced new lineup, including "Brave New World," "Hyperion" and "Stranger in a Strange Land." Syfy is also in partnership to develop a TV franchise for "The Purge," following the popular horror movie series.
In addition, Syfy also announced that the channel now has the rights to air the "Harry Potter" movies as well as the spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in 2018, as well as 14 Marvel movies over the next four years.
A brand-new look
June 19, Syfy channel is rolling out a new typeface and colors on Syfy.com and its social media accounts, as well as a new expanded newswire and a brand-new logo.
"This is not a simple cosmetic face-lift. This isn't just a logo refresh," Alexandra Shapiro, executive vice president of marketing and digital for entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said at a news conference May 9. "This is a wholesale change, top to bottom."
After the refresh, Syfy will look more like a channel you'd expect to be showing ... well, sci-fi, representatives said. Instead of the channel's current rounded font, Syfy will use a big, bold typeface with harsh edges. Instead of its current bright yellow, the new logo will be neon green. "We'll be adding a personality to everything we do," Shapiro said.
An expanded newswire
Syfy has always had a website for fans of its shows to discuss them in forums and get the latest news, but now it will be expanding that service beyond just Syfy shows.
"Think what E News is to Entertainment Weekly," Shapiro said. The newly branded Syfy Wire, previously called Blastr, aims to be a destination for sci-fi and fantasy fans to get up-to-date on all of their favorite shows, including shows and movies outside Syfy's network.
The expanded website will do more than just provide an area for fans to talk about television, though, Shapiro said. He added that Syfy Wire "will allow us to dive deep, to analyze, to explore, spark debate across genre movies, TV, books, comics, video games, space, and technology."
Space enthusiasts may be particularly excited about a section called Bad Astronomy, a blog column from astronomer Phil Plait that is about actual science. Bad Astronomy appeared on Syfy's website a couple of months ago, in early February, and it will bring a touch of science fact to the site's science-fiction focus.