So, what’s all of this reality programming doing on Syfy? Well, to be frank, reality programming is popular – extremely so – on all the networks. And Syfy is not immune to the programming. But they ARE handling it with an eye to the fans that helped them get to where they are – focusing on things related to the genres. Well, maybe with a little divergence…
The first reality panel was with Joe Maddalena, owner of Profiles In History, one of the largest auction houses dealing in movie and television memorabilia. He has a new show starting October 27th on Syfy called Hollywood Treasure where they hunt down, verify, appraise and auction off various items. In the first couple episodes, we will see Joe and his staff find Mary Poppins’ carpet bag in a basement, the Jupiter II landing pod from Lost In Space, and the Wicked Witch’s hat from The Wizard of Oz, and he also talks with Dawn Wells about Gilligan’s Island memorabilia and visits an actor/sculptor who is also a big Batman fan.
At the Digital Press Tour panels, he also brought some items for us to see. A Superman #1 comic, rated the 8th best unrestored copy and worth an estimated $100,000; the “Gray’s Sports Almanac” prop book from Back To The Future 2, to be sold at auction to benefit Michael J. Fox’s charity; and Veruca Salt’s actual Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
What’s the most requested item he hasn’t been able to get? “The number one requested item is an Iron Man costume. I get that once a day…I would think a Tony Stark hero Iron Man costume worn by Robert Downey would bring $500,000.”
From there, we segued to wrestling. Yes, wrestling. OK, wrestling can be pretty “out there”, right?
WWE’s Smackdown brand has moved to Syfy on Friday nights, and to introduce it former champions Kofi Kingston and Beth Phoenix appeared. Beth is currently recovering from knee surgery and hopes to be returning to the ring soon.
Both of them explained how they grew up as fans of wrestling, but they didn’t necessarily follow paths that led straight to wrestling. Kofi Kingston explains, “I graduated college and everything. I went to Boston College, graduated. I was working in the corporate world for about two years, knowing fully well that it’s not what I wanted to do. I wasn’t fulfilled at all. So I decided to actually follow my dreams and start training for — to become a WWE superstar.” Beth also went to college, but would go to wrestling school on the weekends. She kept applying to the WWE, but was constantly rejected. So with much perseverance and after graduating from school and coming to a crossroads, do I — do I go on with a career with my degree, or do I, at 21 years old, give this a shot and give it my all? And I decided to pursue WWE full-time. And after a few years and a lot of disappointments, I picked myself back up and found myself here working for WWE. ”
So, being on Syfy now, do they hope to crossover into other Syfy shows?
“Totally, yeah,” Beth answered. “I feel like WWE is just as excited to cross over with them as they are to have us cross over. Already in just the past month or two, I think, Cody Rhodes appeared on ‘Warehouse.'”
Kofi is interested in being on Ghost Hunters or Scare Tactics. “I’m definitely interested in the paranormal and whatnot. ‘Scare Tactics’ is one of my all-time favorite shows. I mean, gosh, one time before I was actually wrestling, I came home from work, and my — well, my wife now, she was sleeping on the couch. So I came in, and I laid in between the couch and the table, and I put the telephone — the house phone on the table, and I called her on the cell phone, called the house phone. So she woke up, went to go reach over and grab the phone. And I reached up, and I grabbed her arm and just, like, scared the crap out of her.”
I spoke to the two briefly after the panel, asking about the Raw vs. Smackdown bands, as an attempt to bring back the old days of organizational rivalries to generate heat:
So we may see some interesting crossovers...I can see some of the wrestlers showing up on Warehouse 13 or Eureka, or perhaps with a bit of prosthetics on Sanctuary...