One of the frequent gripes in the SciFi community is the lack of quality programming for our genre. The shows that do come along don't seem to get the network and/or fan support they deserve and often end up cancelled before they hit their stride. We all whine, wail, and barbarically yelp about this subject all the time.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I picked up the April 11-17 issue of TV Guide and saw their SciFi Review. Not only did they spotlight upcoming new shows like Falling Skies (TNT's alien invasion drama) and FOX's Terra Nova (now set to premiere in the fall), but they reminded viewers of existing standbys set to begin new episodes or seasons this spring, like Chuck, Torchwood, Sanctuary, and Dr. Who. This list didn't even include other renewed favorites like Eureka, Warehouse 13, and SyFy's very successful American version of Being Human.
With all these shows (including all the ones I didn't name), paranormal fare like Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, as well as the Wonder Woman reboot, I'm left wondering, What exactly are we complaining about?
I don't know about you, but I don't have enough time or DVR space to keep up with the shows broadcasting now. With cable and pay networks like STARZ and HBO, the TV season has been redefined and is no longer confined to a September-through-May schedule. We have new content year round on many channels.
If anything, I see all networks, broadcast and cable, looking for ways to respond to customer demand for out-of-the-box (or galaxy) content. In addition, the content that does exist is more multifaceted than ever. Vampires, zombies, time travel, and aliens -- oh my!
As with anything, there is a price to be paid. The new TV programming models are fraught with delays (either for a broadcast start date or break between a single season). Seasons are shorter on cable and pay networks, but they usually air all-new episodes straight through, without repeat breaks. And let's not forget that until a new show is actually broadcast, the threat of never seeing it remains in the back of our minds.
Even with those concerns, I still feel optimistic about the future of SciFi programming. Really!
What are your feelings on the future of SciFi in television? Let us know in comments!