Monday, October 18, 2021
Oct. 18, 2021

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TV Q&A: Has Syfy channel lost its way?


I have been a longtime fan of the Syfy channel as horror, sci fi, thrillers, and so on, are my favorite shows. Over the last year I have seen a huge decline in the variety and focus on this genre from this channel. For example, the same Harry Potter movies were shown for four consecutive weekends over and over again! There are thousands of movies that would be entertaining for this audience but instead they are driving me away from my main source of entertainment until now. What is going on with this channel and how did they lose their way?

Some channels do indeed change: Bravo used to feature serious cultural programs, for example. But Syfy would argue that it did not lose its way, even if it no longer calls itself Sci-Fi. It still proclaims itself “a global, multiplatform media brand that gives science fiction fans of all kinds a universe to call home. Celebrating the genre in all its forms, SYFY super-serves passionate fans with original science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and superhero programming, live event coverage and imaginative digital and social content.”

Does that preclude reruns? Of course not. Syfy is not alone among program providers in offering day after day of some movies and programs — but they do so because they need to fill a lot of hours, they own the rights to those productions. and they believe — as with the Harry Potter films — that the fans will indeed watch them over and over. NBCUniversal, which includes Syfy, spent a reported $250,000,000 to get the Potter films and has used them to draw viewers to the NBC broadcast network, USA Network and its Peacock streaming service.

On the “America’s Got Talent” auditions, a male singer went through, I thought. His wife died in the plane crash with Kobe Bryant. Did he decide not to go on?

You are remembering Matt Mauser, the husband of Christina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy. She died in the helicopter crash that also killed Bryant, Bryant’s daughter Gianna and six others. Matt Mauser gave a much-praised vocal performance of Phil Collin’s “Against All Odds” in the auditions but did not advance to the live shows. He was included in an “AGT” wild-card competition on Peacock, but did not advance from there, either.

After many months of enjoying classic “MASH” episodes, I am hopeful that the future brings us the equally classic “Cheers” and “Six Feet Under.”

You can find both those shows with a little work. Your letter included a picture of the first season of “Cheers” on DVD, and the complete series of that and “Six Feet Under” are on disc. (You may want to see if your library has those discs to avoid paying.) Both are available as downloads on Amazon Prime. “Cheers” is on the streaming service Paramount+ while “Six Feet Under” is on HBO Max.