Science Channel changes name: Here's 10 more networks that need a new brand

If you were in charge of rebranding the Science Channel, what would you call the new network? The programming is the same, just an improved name.

TestTubeTV? The Hypothesis Network? WisdomNet? E=MC2? The Methodical Study of the Material World Channel?

This morning the network announced its name is changing to … Science. They’re just dropping “Channel” (that’s the new logo, to the right). I know, a bit anti-climactic. One pictures Justin Timberlake in The Social Network advising the Science Channel’s executives: “Just ‘Science,’ it’s cleaner.” And it’s not as problematic to use in a sentence as History, which rings awkward ever since dropping “Channel.”

Still, Science Channel wasn’t begging for a name change. But you know what is? FX. The original idea was “Fox extended,” but the channel no longer airs Fox broadcast castoffs and the closest verbal association is “effects” which makes no sense. Also:

TLC. It was The Learning Channel, then it was shortened when its programming evolved from educational content to the Crazy Moms Channel (CMC!). AMC (formerly American Movie Classics) and TBS (formerly Turner Broadcasting System) and, of course, MTV (formerly standing for Music Television) and VH1 (Video Hits 1) also fall into this category.

Also, Logo. The name for this gay-themed channel is supposed to be about personal identity, but to me it’s always sounded like a fashion network.

Reelz. It sounds like somebody wanted to buy a URL for a new Website and “Reels.com” was already taken and this is what GoDaddy suggested instead. Same with Starz though, for some reason, that “z” doesn’t stick out as much.

The names of the women’s channels aren’t great either. Lifetime is a classic brand and isn’t going anywhere, but it has sort of an aging nostalgic rocking-chair ring to it. Then there’s WEtv (awkward) and Oxygen (sounds like, hey, a Science Channel).

MSNBC. Gah. There’s been talk of changing this for other reasons. But for me, it sounds like NBC caught a degenerative disease.

Here’s some names I love: Food Network. There you go. You know exactly what you’re getting. Food. Network. Same goes for: Travel Channel. Comedy Central. Discovery Channel. Animal Planet. Fox News.

Among the acronyms, even after all these years, HBO still has a perfect name — Home Box Office, programming that’s somewhere between standard TV and what you get in theaters (a project like Game of Thrones is a perfect example).

What about you? Which network names do you love or hate?

Comments (315 total) Add your comment
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  • Rebecca

    Bravo = Crap Reality, All the Time ((C)RAtT?)

    Seriously, do they air anything scripted anymore? (RIP WEST WING!!)

    • jeff

      only thing still watchable on that channel is the occasional airing of Inside the Actors Studio

      • Chotiwala

        You mean the one with Will Ferrell?

    • S.O.

      You can also include “E!” as well

      • Sharlin

        At least it’s Entertainment! Which is what it stands for.

    • Danny

      Considering the respect that Top Chef has in the Food Community (a James Beard Award, Head Judge and Producer Colicchio winning the Beard Award for the best chef of the year) and the incredible level of chefs they get as judges and also as contestants on Top Chef Masters, it is hard to make the case that this is a “crap” reality show. Project Runway when it was on Bravo was highly respected and Kathy Griffin has brought home the Emmy’s and TC ended TAR’s hold on the Emmy. They do have a lot of junk but they also have some great shows.

      • Rebecca

        Put Top Chef on the Food Channel (if it’s so “foodie”, I don’t know, I don’t watch) and call it a day.

      • Fred Evil

        Top Chef is just about teh only show on that channel that I can stand. Who cares about those loser ‘unReal Housewives’? Who cares who’s pregnant?
        Bravo just sucks anymore.

    • Frank

      “Here’s 10 more?” Really? It’ “Here ARE 10 more.” How about some some journalistic standards…like proper English!

      • Grammar Sheriff

        Well, if you actually knew anything about proper English, you’d know that the construct is what is known as an elliptical sentence, in which the phrase “a list” is removed from it’s place in between “here’s” and “10” and is implied instead to allow for the expression of conversational speech. Next time educate yourself before trying to educate others.

      • Grammar Sheriff

        And, of course, “it’s” should have been spelled “its” in my own post.

      • ME LIKE ENGLISH

        WTF kind of grammar are you smoking cowboy?

      • Grammar Deputy

        Bad grammar is bad grammar no matter who you justify it. CNN and most online ‘news reporting’ has been going downhill for a long time.

      • Grammar Deputy

        and my who should have how. I admit it, I need refresher typing classes.

      • Kairho

        haVE been going

    • jules

      reality tv is mostly scripted!

    • Rush

      SyFy. What the hell is that supposed to stand for anyway?

      • Kevin

        Sigh as the Fi disappears, maybe.

      • APFW

        Kevin, you are sadly so right!

      • Steve

        Science Fiction

      • CaptainStimpy

        Lately it has meant ‘crap’. It means anything but science fiction.

      • Julie

        I *hate* that they changed it. What was wrong with SciFi?? Does changing the “ci” and “i” to y’s make it more awesome? I vote NO!

      • Jeannie

        I absolutely hate this name change too! It looks horrendous. I believe it was changed to “SyFy” to make it seem younger and more exciting, and perhaps to also nod toward the fantasy genre. Whatever the reasons, it was a terrible decision.

      • Sarah

        This was SO what popped into my head when I saw this article!
        Just change it back (SciFi) and I think we’ll stop cringing when we flip to this network.

      • Laundry

        Same with Lynyrd Skynyrd. They should change it back to Leonard Skinner, dammit!

    • Rush

      A&E: Addiction and Excrement.

      • Jenn

        Funny!

    • Simo

      An Idiot Abroad might be the best show on TV. Where can you find it…Science Channel! I mean Science:)

      • Matt

        This.

    • Sabrina

      What? I hate the Housewives as much as the next person, but Top Chef is one of the best shows on TV.

    • scytherius

      I know. Sad isn’t it? But there are enough useful Snooki loving useful idiots out there to keep the realty train running for awhile.

      As for me, I pretty much stream now and have dropped my Satellite dish as I am sick to death of reality programming.

    • Julia

      Bravo was the first thing that came to my mind — programming used to be interesting and well, “bravo!” talented. The present focus on reality is worthless. I never watch Bravo anymore.

    • evoc

      Agreed. And A&E showing reruns of CSI: Miami.

    • JJ

      No kidding. BRAVO is no longer about the arts. BRAVO should rename itself BOO.

    • DT

      It was weird BRAVO aired West Wing at all. They must’ve gotten it on clearance.

      • L

        Why? It’s owned by NBCUniversalCrapcast, and The West Wing was on NBC.

  • Hamish

    Another one I like is Epix – pronounced “epics”. Now if only their movies matched their name…

  • Jackie

    SyFy should change its name to Sci-Fi.

    • Gen

      LOL!

    • znachki

      THIS!!

    • Cari

      LMAO I was thinking this too

    • Matt W

      Maybe it went over my head lol but it WAS Sci-Fi before they changed it to SyFy.

      • Yesenia

        That being the point

      • Teksu

        SyFy had to change the name cause they keep canceling all the science fiction shows they used to air.
        fb.com/savesgu

      • Rc

        Yes. They once had great programming. Now it’s got a horrible name and a bunch of reality (cheap to make) programming.

      • Alf33

        There are a few good shows still on SyFy, namely Eureka, Warehouse 13 with Haven and Sanctuary being pretty good.

      • G8rfan

        Warehouse 13 and Haven are both very good. I keep forgetting to watch Eureka, then I end up scolding myself for it. I’m going to have to get the DVDs or something. I wish it would show up On Demand.

    • Mircat

      They definitely need to delete any relationship to science fiction. The day they started running wrestling matches, they ceased to be a classy network.

      • Tarc

        Well, they were never a ‘classy’ network, but the name change was simply stupid.I actually refuse to use ‘Siffy’, and just called it Sci-fi as usual. Not that it matter much, though; MTV still calls itself that despite not having anything to do with music in the slightest (nor my viewership, for the same reason).

    • Tarc

      Percisely. And I’m guessing the same useless executives that nneded to justify their outrageous salaroes back during the original change can double their bang for the buck and change it back now. Please.

    • ks

      You ROCK!! HA and take the damn wrestling off

      • Greg

        Sorry, but wrestling isnt leaving SyFy, its their highest rated show. With that kind of revenue its not going anywhere. I think the execs at SyFy are smarter than the execs at CW. Look what happened to them when they got rid of wrestling to “rebrand” themselves. *diving noise followed by crashing noise*

      • Jerry

        Shouldn’t the wrestling be on Logo? I mean, if large, sweaty men in tights grabbing each other and rolling around on a giant mattress isn’t gay……

        Yes, we (most of us, anyway,) know wrestling is scripted and choreographed fiction but it’s not “Science Fiction” and belongs less on a channel dedicated to the “Science Fiction & Fantasy” genre than (un)Reality cr*p like “Ghost Hunters”.

      • Rush

        I don’t mind the wrestling, I just choose to not watch it when it’s on. The problem with SyFy is the lack of a good show to anchor the network, like they had with Battlestar Galactica. Also, they used to re-run classic Science Fiction like old Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and Outer Limits. We need a cable channel that specializes in classic Sci Fi.

      • Rush

        What I mean is, they need to bring back those re-runs on nights where they don’t have original programming, or do marathons on weekends instead of the C rate direct-to-DVD movies they play on Saturdays.

      • Rush

        And while we’re at it, why don’t they occasionally re-run properties they *do* own a stake in, like Farscape and BSG?!?

    • Reva Mohr

      SyFy used to be Sci Fi but I noticed in the on air cable guide, it was confusing because the Sci was too similar to what the Science Channel was using.

      • Greg

        Sorry, but wrestling isnt leaving SyFy, its their highest rated show. With that kind of revenue its not going anywhere. I think the execs at SyFy are smarter than the execs at CW. Look what happened to them when they got rid of wrestling to “rebrand” themselves. *diving noise followed by crashing noise*

      • Daxx

        Sci-Fi changed the name so that they could brand/copywrite their original programming. It’s all about the money.

    • mczplwp

      my daughter asked once what the sci-fi (pronounced like jiffy)channel was. we still refer to it as sciffy.

    • Jason

      SyFy stands for “screw you and f you”, we’re going to produce some of the worst movies, so tough!

      • Ames

        Worst movies? I’m sorry but when I’m snowed in and I look through the TV listing and see: “A giant [blank] destroys the city of [blank] while a sexy gang of scientists …” my day is made.

      • Mo

        The funny thing is, Jason and Ames, that you are BOTH so right. I don’t watch those movies, but watching The Soup just wouldn’t be the same without the clips of the Tiffany-Debbie Gibson b*tchfight, Mickey Dolenz getting eaten by MegaPython and, above all, Jerry the Pool Boy…

    • Ray in Vegas

      Why did they change it? Admittedly there’s not as much science fiction there anymore. Sci-Fi was another perfect name.

      • Bob

        The term Sci-Fi is considered regular usage so they couldn’t trademark it, thus the “creative” version of the same term. Pronunciation is the same and for the record, while goofy wrestling aside, they still have some of the best programming out there with shows that were previously mentioned and others like Being Human and Stargate Universe. The original movies are amusing as well for any fan of B movies and distaster flicks.

      • Ray in Vegas

        Sure .. it’s “ok” now as far as the actual sci-fi programming goes. But it used to be “great”. The ghost and reality stuff has nothing to do with true sci-fi, nor do disaster flicks, per se. Unless technology and science ride in to save the day … then it’s sci-fi. You already mentioned “wrestling” .. no comment.

    • scytherius

      HAHA!!

    • Zed

      But their new cooking show (???) wouldn’t be able to air if they actually were Sci-Fi again.

    • Brandon

      They claim the reason for the change to SyFy is because that Sci-Fi is such a public term that they can’t hold the copyright to it, so in order to make more money they threw in the y’s

  • Auntie Em

    Agree with the TLC change. It’s been a long time that this channel has taught anything other than, ‘hey, my family’s not so bad.’

    • steph

      and what not to wear! Stacey and Clinton are the most educational aspects of that channel nowadays.

      • Lisa Simpson

        They are the ONLY educational aspect of that channel nowadays.

    • mark in nyc

      the learning channel lost all claims of learning when it had a Sara Palin show on it.

      • StephenP

        Actually, TLC started losing all credibility when they started letting parents pimp their kids on TV…ie the Duggars and Kate Gosselin.

      • Ray in Vegas

        Which channel has the gross show where mom’s our pimping their kids in beauty pageants? Those little girls seem utterly tortured and unhappy.

      • Ray in Vegas

        Oops .. “are” pimping ..

      • Kelsie

        @ Ray. Both TLC and WEtv have kid beauty pageant shows.

    • Dave

      Lol, Auntie Em. Thank you. I really needed that laugh today!

    • SilentBoy741

      They should rename TLC to what I’ve been calling it for the past few years: “The Freak Show Network”.

    • jill

      Thanks Auntie Em for the laugh this morning! My family seems fairly normal after watching some of TLC’s programming.

    • Deb

      AGREE 100%. And not just TLC. Is this a trend now? Animal Planet = very few “animal” shows. Discovery? Pssshhh. More like REcovery.

      • ks

        Travel channel-should be where to eat and what to buy instead of showing really cool places.

    • District 12

      I really like say yes to the dress, it is not that bad of a show for being on TLC

  • A.Rae

    God, please don’t let FX change their name to something stupid (I’m looking at you, Spike TV). I watch way too many FX shows to be bombarded by a dumb name that’s trying too hard to be cute…

    • Tivo

      I know, I’m waiting for Bob TV or or NerdZ. Or something equally as horrible.

      • SilentBoy741

        Seattle has JoeTV — really. But then, it is the cultural center of the hipster doofus universe.

    • Dave

      I agree. I wouldn’t want FX to change its name.

      • Mike

        In Britain, they actually have a channel simply called Dave. It plays reruns of other channels.

  • RyanK

    So apparently Science borrowed their new logo from the head of one of my golf clubs?

  • Eli

    How about the FU channel (Freakin’ Unbelievable Channel)with freakin’ unbelievable programming?

    • E

      better yet spell it Eff-U

      • SilentBoy741

        “FNU — the fun network for dyslexics!”

  • Cookie Fleck

    TLC should be S.O.F.T. (Showcase Of Freaks Television)

    • JJ

      Totally! I’ve thought this a long time. I’d say call it LPC “Little People” Channel, but then they have the shows about the girl with giant legs and “I didn’t know I was pregnant!” and “we have too many kids!” and what not.

  • LOL

    Faux News would be better. At least people would know that it’s not real news.

    • muhahaha

      incredibly original! how do you come up with this stuff?!

    • bob

      nice

    • blackpool

      Actually, since Fox News executives have admitted that the majority of their programming is “opinion”, not news, a name change to “Fox Opinion” would be appropriate.

      • jill

        How about the Republican Channel. All GOP all the time. Wait…they already do that.

    • Zoe

      The writer likes names in which “you know what you’re getting.” Food Network, Travel Channel, Comedy Central. So how does Fox News fit into this? It’s not news about foxes. Unless you are familiar with “Fox” in terms of the regular network (and Murdoch’s point of view), it’s definitely not a descriptive name equal to those others.

      • Skippy

        Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC … of the three only Fox News clearly identifies itself as a “news” channel. CNN, you have to know what it stands for, and with MSNBC, there is no way to even identify it as a “news” channel unless you turn it on. I don’t think the writer was referring to Fox News in any other way.

      • Linus

        I think the writer meant bimboes reading news. Just a guess though.

      • KatieBell

        LOL! I would totally watch a channel that featured news about foxes.

    • Karma101

      Kind of like MSNBC.

    • Todd

      Fox needs to remove the word “News” out of the title.

  • Loch Ness

    When does Tiger Blood TV debut? America needs an all-Sheen network!

  • Genevieve

    My father-in-law always refers to HBO as Home Box. I love that he does that, it’s so old school.

    • MMurray52

      My grandfather used to call it the Hobo Channel.

      • bryan

        Home Body Oder

  • sassyc

    How about the CI channel- (Crime Investigation) which REALLY stands for Commercial Infinity.
    If I never see another commercial for Crossing Jordan, Nash Bridges or Twin Peaks it will be too soon!

    • Max

      And that’s the reason I seldom watch it anymore. If there’s something I do want to watch I’ll record it so I can Fast-forward through those “Mini-shows.”

  • Buffy Freak

    A&E needs to drop the A…can;t remember the last time they aired anything anyone would call “art”. The whole noetowrk is such a mash-up of ideas…home improvement shows, addiction and hoarding shows, crime dramas (original and reruns) and celebrity reality shows…

    And TVLand has drifted from it’s original concept…Hot in Cleveland has it’s fans but was that other new show necessary? I never see anyone say anything positive about it. And as far as their “classic” shows, I know The nanny and Three’s Company have their fans but they certainly aren’t considered classic by anyone’s standards.

    And finally, the History Channel seems to have as much to do with history as it does with mythology and conspiracy theories.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Yeah, I’m with you on the History Channel. I used to watch it a lot (when it wasn’t all WWII all the time like it would do), but I think The Conspiracy Network (with Ice Road Truckers on the Side) would work much better. TCN(IRTS).

      • candacetx

        At least the History Channel TRIES to tie it all together with the slogan: “Where History is made every day” in an effort to justify all of their reality programming.

      • Kelsie

        They still show a ton of history too. They aren’t all history all the time but as a whole, I think they are pretty true to the name. I have a family member that watches it often because of all the war history. They can be heavy on WWII.

    • 3reddogs

      I don’t find much of anything on A&E that’s entertaining and, as you say, the “art” part has been gone for years. I guess that leaves us with The & Network. It would be a constant reminder of what A&E used to be.

      • Buffy Freak

        Yeah I agree about the lack of entertainment too…but I suppose there are some people entertained by CSI Miami and Criminal Minds reruns plus Intervention and the ever-lame Sell This House.

      • DainBramage

        Oooooh… They could have a groovy “&” sign as their logo too! How about just calling it “The Network Formerly Known as A&E” Kinda like Prince when he went through is “Symbol” phase, right?

      • Harry L.

        in the A&E version for Latin America th acronym stands for “Acción y Emoción” (Action & Emotion)…

    • B

      A&E and Bravo all used to be so good. History has some good stuff occasionally. AMC has also changed, but at least they’ve got great scripted shows now.

      • elr

        There is not a channel out there, except for maybe the Food Network, that has not changed drastically from what the concept originally was.

      • Sharlin

        elr, I would add The Weather Channel too… it still shows the weather, lol.

      • hexal

        The Weather Channel does do weather, but they’ve got some sensationalist crap on there. It’s not the channel I turn to when the tornado sirens are going… I did just a few days ago, and it was busy showing how fireproof various house sidings were.

      • kake79

        @Sharlin… I would’ve agreed with you up until this last year when I started seeing them air whole movies (like Misery) on there. Akin to how The TV Guide network stopped talking about TV and started airing it (like Ugly Betty).

      • jane1982

        TCM is still what it started out as.

      • Brandon

        I think HGTV stays pretty true to its original intention. Most all of it’s shows still revolve around homes and gardens.

      • Meg

        @jane1982 — And thank goodness for that!

    • Elle

      The Mystery Channel is what it should be called.

    • Rush

      History has mixed it up to be more entertaining. While I haven’t been able to get into “Decoded” (most of the people on that show seem either ingenuous, or stupid) “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” manage to both be entertaining and include just a little bit of educational information. It’s gotta be hard for a channel to be competitive if the majority of your audience gets the impression that they’re going to be going back to high school history class when they’re tuning in. Want hard core history? Tune in on early weekday and Saturday mornings when they run old History Channel series in their “Cable in the Classroom” program block. It’s like a flashback to the “Hitler Channel” days.

  • Justin P.

    ABC is the best: American Broadcasting Company. God Bless America!

    • Rush

      Always Being Childish

  • Jimbo

    The History Channel and Travel Channel need to drop their paranormal programs. All that stuff should be on its own channel and give it a name like Myths and Legends TV (MLTV) or Paranormal Research Television (PRT).

    • muhahaha

      I totally agree. I hate that Ghost Adventures show on the Travel Channel. It’s just a bunch of guys running around in the dark – occasionally saying “Whoa! Did you hear that?!” Ugh. Put it all in one place so I can avoid it.

    • Fred Evil

      Ditto, and SyFy needs to just change its name to the full Syfyllus, because it doesn’t actually air any real, decent Sci-Fi any more.
      Wrestling and Ghost (fill in the blank)?!?!
      That channel just sucks on ice now.

    • Satan

      That’s where we can put all the televangelists too.

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