I am laying down a challenge, Nerd Lunchers. For lo these many years, the Sci Fi Channel (k.n.a "SyFy") has brought us innovative programming like "Battlestar: Galactica" and "Farscape." But it has also brought us a certain brand of competent yet unspectacular show, liked pretty well by People Who Like That Sort of Thing and usually adored by some subset of the nerd community.
I'm talking "Stargate: S.G.1." "Eureka." "Warehouse 13." Hack work, you say? Perhaps. But the hacks involved know what we like, and they work pretty hard to deliver it. But lately, SyFy has been moving towards more reality-show fare. Help them, Nerd Lunch . . . you're their only hope.
So next week, the team from Nerd Lunch is going to pitch some shows and remind SyFy how it's done. I will suggest the following guidelines:
The show needs to be cheap. Not "Blair Witch Project" cheap, but don't go crazy. Preferably filmed in British Columbia, although I will also allow New Zealand. If you're going to have a bunch of effects, they will be crummy, like "Sanctuary" (I tried, Amanda Tapping, I really tried).
SyFy pays the bills for a lot of genre stars from yesteryear, so feel free to cast anyone who might take the gig. Especially Ben Browder (shown here kissing Michael Shanks, who also needs work). Assume that, say, Leonard Nimoy will probably not star in your show. Remember that a typical SyFy cast is Some Guy + Some Girl and featuring Hey, It's That Guy!, so feel free to just assume a couple of good-looking Canadian unknowns + Tony Todd.
These shows are for hardcore nerds with a little time on their hands. Inside jokes and continuity porn abound. We're talking Jewel Staite is on "Stargate: Atlantis" and eats a strawberry, and we all get the joke. And on the whole, these shows don't appear to take themselves too seriously.
Check back next week for as many pitches as we can throw at you.