I’m sympathetic to the idea that SyFy should maintain its dedication to science fiction programming, particularly given the quotas on “genre” shows on network television, and—until recently, of course—the comparative lack of attention to science fiction and fantasy on the prestige networks. But I do get the impulse to effectively subsidize niche programming with something unrelated but popular like wrestling.
The key, I think, both for long-term fans and for folks who come to SyFy for the smackdown is to find ways to make the juxtaposition between the kinds of content less jarring. How do we get people to come for the wrestling and stay for the superheroes? I actually think there’s more potential for crossover than might be immediately apparent. Wrestling and science fiction have in common outsized personalities and suspension of disbelief. If you can get people to tune in an hour early, or to stick around for another hour of programming, the benefit to the network can go beyond subsidy to bring in new viewers entirely.