SYFY WIRE’s Editor-In-Chief Adam Swiderski discusses evolution in genre TV and what’s to come

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Netflix presents Marvel's Iron Fist at New York Comic-Con 2016. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Netflix)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Netflix presents Marvel's Iron Fist at New York Comic-Con 2016. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Netflix) /

During NYCC 2018, I got the chance to talk to Adam Swiderski, SYFY WIRE’s Editor-in-Chief. We discussed the evolution of both the website and the network, including what’s to come in genre TV.

SYFY and SYFY WIRE have both changed considerably in recent years. With more focus on original programming and connecting with audiences worldwide, the genre has become far more inclusive, representative, and focused. SYFY WIRE Editor-in-Chief Adam Swiderski discussed this evolution during NYCC 2018.

For those who aren’t aware, SYFY WIRE has its own live stage at ReedPop! conventions. I first saw it at C2E2 earlier this year and had the chance to experience it during NYCC. The live stage is on the vendor floor and consistently packed, as it brings in stars from various shows across all networks, including The CW, STARZ, and its own SYFY.

What’s in store for the genre in the future? Why make this decision to be at the conventions where the fans are? This is what Adam has to say.

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Hidden Remote: SYFY WIRE and SYFY itself have changed considerably over the years. What prompted that evolution?

Adam Swiderski: I’ve been with SYFY WIRE for the last 10 years, going through this evolution with them. I think when SYFY rebranded as S-Y-F-Y, I think in 2009, there was the desire to kind of expand outside the typical genres of sci-fi and fantasy. A couple of years ago, we kind of looked back at the landscape knowing we should be owning the space. It was a brand-wide move to push towards science fiction fandom, the fantasy fandom, the entertainment fandom.

We already had the site Blaster, which was a blog that used to be SYFY Wire. It was speaking the language already, covering movies, comics, gaming, things like that. We decided to rebrand Blaster to SYFY Wire and really build it up into a media organization.

At the time, I was the only full-time employee. It was a real scramble but now we’ve built up this team and the site. Now we’re doing things like this [NYCC live stage] and we’ve really stepped up. It’s been a journey and it’s still ongoing.

We were already speaking with fans and this is really pumping up to 11.

HR: And it’s working.

Swiderski: So far so good! I don’t ever want to take that for granted. We’ve had some great response to it.

HR: The first time I saw the SYFY Wire live stage was at C2E2 in April. What prompted that decision?

Swiderski: Oh, great! I think we wanted to connect with the fans and the cons are where the fans are. These major cons are the biggest community get-together. I’m not sure what the backroom dealings were with partnering with ReedPop, but we already had some experience with it. I’d appeared on a live stage show Twitch was doing a couple of time.

I think it just spoke very clearly to our mission now. It spoke clearly to our site, to the people who are watching SYFY programming, and who are just into this eco-system we want to be a part of.

HR: What’s the response been like? I see the seats are always packed.

Swiderski: Honestly, it’s been great! I didn’t know what to expect the first time in Emerald City Comic-Con. I knew people would possibly be there for streaming but I didn’t know what to expect during the con. It’s been amazing.

The cool thing about the con is it’s not always what you expect. This morning we had Dave Gibbons, the artist behind “The Watchman.” The guy could probably walk down the street and not get recognized, but here he’s a rockstar. He drew a giant crowd. I love seeing that and seeing fans get the chance to see the creators. People want to hear what they have to say.

It’s cool for us to see fans connect, especially as many of us are fans ourselves.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) /

HR: It’s awesome to have “cool” and “sci-fi” in a sentence together. When I was growing up, you were a geek for liking sci-fi. The rebrand has been important for that but where do you see the genre going in the next year or two?

Swiderski: Yeah! The superhero wave is showing no signs of slowing down and I think that’s awesome. If you had told me 20 years ago that something like Thor: Ragnarok would have been made and been a huge hit, I would have just laughed. People who have never read a comic book in their life but been to see it multiple times, I love it! I think it’s great.

I think that the sky’s the limit for Marvel. The superhero landscape is just going to continue to blow up.

The TV space is evolving a lot and a lot of the stuff that is coming from the original stream services, like Netflix and Amazon. Amazon has just announced The Wheel of Time series, which is a massive fantasy book series.

HR: That’s going to be so hard to turn into a series.

Swiderski: I know! And people have been kicking that around for a long time. They were going to make a movie or something. It was one of those projects that you thought “nobody is going to undertake that” and now we’re in a world where a major company is putting money behind that. I only see that continue to grow.

I think some like your Alex Garland stuff is going to move over to the TV space. There’s a little more room to breathe without the immense pressure of having a giant opening weekend. The franchises will dominate the movie space, but the TV is where you’ll see this sci-fi storytelling. It’s focused on the more cerebral science fiction and the stories that need a higher degree of investment.

Honestly, a couple of years ago, I said the superhero thing would teeter out, that people would get sick of it. But it’s bigger now than it was then. I certainly don’t see it going away any time soon.

Next. The Man in the High Castle teases Season 4 during NYCC. dark

Where do you think the genre is going in the future? What would you like to see from SYFY and SYFY Wire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.