The Sci-Fi Channel is a cable channel originally devised in 1991 by two Boca entrepreneurs: Mitchell Rubenstein and Laurie Silvers. The network airs programs that's geared towards science fiction (Sci-Fi), fantasy, horror, and thriller genres. USA Networks picked up the concept in 1992 and when Viacom acquired Paramount Communications in 1994, the company controlled Paramount's stake. In 1995, Seagram and Sons, the then-current parent of Universal Studios acquired MCA's stake. In 1997, Paramount/Viacom sold its stakes in the USA Networks to Universal. In 1998, Seagram/Universal sold the USA Networks to Barry Diller, who later became the CEO of Vivendi Universal Entertainment in 2001 after reuniting the USA Networks with Universal. On May 11, 2004, Vivendi Universal sold 80% of VUE to General Electric's NBC to form "NBC Universal" (now "NBCUniversal"). On July 7, 2009, the network was renamed to "Syfy".
1st Logo (1992-1999)
Nicknames: "The Green Flames", "Sciturn", "The Flames From Hell"
Logo: We see a green flame rise up, and while it is slowly turning orange, we see a black circle with the words "SCI-FI" in gray above and "CHANNEL" below in white. When the flame is down, it reveals the black circle is a brown planet with rings around it that looks like Saturn. The words "PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appear above and move clockwise, along with the planet.
- A version exists where the logo is on a black background, the planet is red and the text above it is removed.
- There's an abridged version that skips the flame portion.
FX/SFX: The flame.
Music/Sounds: A weird bubbling sound when the flame appears. The rest is silent. On some shows, the logo was completely silent.
Availability: Rare. It was seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes from the Sci-Fi Channel era. This logo is cut from most episodes of MST3K on PlutoTV, but it can still be seen on one episode, #812 "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies". It was also seen on various Sci-Fi Channel specials and original programs from the period such as The Anti-Gravity Room and Mission Genesis.
Editor's Note: The jarring appearance of the flame along with the weird bubbling sound might scare some in a fashion similar to the HBO Independent Productions logo.
2nd Logo (1996)
Logo: We see a weird-looking, cross-eyed smiling man hold up a ping-pong ball featuring the Sci-Fi Channel logo of the era. He holds it up closer to the camera, and the ball starts to flash a red light, gradually flashing slower. produced in association with fades in beside the ball, then fades out. A byline then fades in:
sci-fi channel all rights reserved
The man then pulls the ball away from the camera (with the ball no longer flashing), now looking cross-eyed to the left.
Music/Sounds: Weird UFO-like sounds.
Availability: Only seen on Sci-Fi Con.
Editor's Note: TBA.
3rd Logo (1999-2002)
Nicknames: "The Weird Splash Thing"
Logo: On a black BG, we see the blue-white text "this has been a presentation of" appear near the bottom of the screen, followed by the spaced-out word "SCI FI". Above "SCI FI", the planet logo, now smaller and in blue-white, appears and "shines" while rotating slightly. As it vanishes, the screen is suddenly overtaken by an "explosion" of blue-white "smoke" or liquid, which moves around for a few seconds before the logo fades out.
Variant: There's another version where the presentation disclaimer is set more to the top and "presentation" is replaced with "production" and everything is set in bright red.
FX/SFX: Relatively simplistic, but cool. The animation was produced by Manhattan Transfer as a part of the "Sci-Fi 2.0" makeover.
Music/Sounds: A breathy synth tune accompanied by whispering. The variant used a more dark rendition.
Availability: Pretty much extinct on TV. Sci-Fi didn't produce that many original programs around this time, in fact, most shows that initially aired on Sci-Fi (The Chronicle for example) didn't use a logo. The variant was seen on season 2 episodes of G vs. E. It's unknown what other shows, specials and/or movies had this logo, let alone if they had any release outside of the network.
Editor's Note: The whispers and the "explosion" at the end might freak some people out.
4th Logo (2002-2009)
Availability: It was very common years ago and now it's extremely rare. It was seen on all original programming on the Sci-Fi Channel from this era such as Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Also appeared on DVDs of the TV miniseries Taken (2002) and the Battlestar Galactica miniseries.
Editor's Note: None.
1st Logo (2009-2017)
Logo: During the opening theme of the show, the then-current Syfy logo and the text "Original Series" appears.
- There is an animated version of the logo in which the logo is on a white background. Also, the text "Original Series" is purple, the logo is in 3D, and the camera moves away from the logo.
- There is another version (which is the same as the animated version) used in different forms in which the text "Original Series" is replaced by "Imagine Greater", which is below the logo.
- Since Syfy customizes the "Imagine Greater" version of this logo on promos for most of its shows, there are incredibly many variations.
FX/SFX: None for the standard version, the zooming out for the animated version.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the show.
Music/Sound Variant: The animated version uses a three-note synth tune.
Availability: Near extinction. It was seen on all current original programming from the time on Syfy. The version with the words "Imagine Greater" can be commonly seen on idents, promos, and bumpers that used to air on Syfy. A new logo debuted on June 19, 2017, however, making this one rarer.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (2017-)
Logo: On a black background, we see the new Syfy logo (the word "SYFY" in a blocky font) in yellow. Suddenly, the colors reverse for a second, and it cuts back to yellow on black, except the two parts are separated, smaller, and in different positions (top left corner and bottom right corner). They slide to align each other stacked to reform the logo. During this, "ORIGINAL" slides in.
Trivia: The new logo went into use on June 19, 2017, to celebrate the channel's 25th anniversary.
FX/SFX: The invert, the slides.
Music/Sounds: A reversed low pitch note, and a sped up normal note.
Availability: Brand new. Should be seen on new airings of Syfy shows.
Editor's Note: None.