When it launched in 1992, Syfy, then called The Sci-Fi Channel, was intended as a place for parent companies Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios to air their substantial libraries of science fiction and horror films and TV series. Since a rebranding in 2009, the channel broadened its programming focus somewhat, but the science fiction and horror genres still constitute the bulk of the channel's schedule.
While Syfy's audiences have never been huge, several of the channel's original series have achieved substantial success. "Battlestar Galactica," a reboot of the 1970s TV series, debuted on Syfy as a miniseries in 2003, then went on to a popular four-season run that helped to support something of a science-fiction renaissance on TV and in film. "Ghost Hunters," a reality series that follows the exploits of a team of paranormal investigators, premiered on Syfy in 2004 and was instrumental in creating a boom in paranormal reality series over the next several years.
In recent years, Syfy has produced original TV movies that poke fun at the horror and sci-fi genres with campy plots, intentionally unimpressive special effects and B-movie-style writing and acting. The most successful of these original movies to date is "Sharknado," which has generated unprecedented social-media buzz, if not giant ratings.