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The Sci Fi Channel Upfronts: 'BSG' finale and playing the name game

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Marymcdonnell_l

Marymcdonnell_lLast night, in the New York Times building’s Times Center, I saw something I’m not allowed to talk about. My not talking about it was ensured two ways — by the embargo agreement I signed on the way in, and the “raise my right hand” oath that Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore made all of the press attending take: “I swear not to reveal any of the spoilers I see tonight.”

So, all I can say is, I saw the Battlestar Galactica series finale…and it was indeed a finale. Stuff happened, and credits rolled. (Come back on Friday for our first — and last — BSG live blog. And on Saturday for my TV Watch wrapping it all up. And, boy, is there a lot to wrap up.) A Q&A followed, with Moore, executive producer David Eick, Edward James Olmos, and Mary McDonnell, most of which also falls under the “goodies I can’t talk about” category…except for the fact that McDonnell is hawt. Not exactly a spoiler, so I feel I’m in the clear.

The other thing of note at the Sci Fi Channel’s dog-and-pony show was the name change. From “Sci Fi” to “SyFy”. Sci Fi Channel president Dave Howe walked through the reasoning behind it, all of which makes a kind of sense: that sci-fi is a genre and, as such, it’s hard to make unique as a brand. It’d be like naming your sports network “Sports” instead of “ESPN.” One can’t forge a destiny without being beholden to all the baggage that comes with the name. I get all that. But if you’re gonna change the name, then CHANGE THE GODSDAMNED NAME. Don’t half-ass it. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. (I’d have liked The Mansquito Network, but I’m in the vast minority.)

Moving on. The rest of the night went off without a hitch: saw some footage from Caprica — the pilot of which’ll be on DVD in April, nine months before the network premiere — and Warehouse 13, the X-Files-y show Buffy and BSG alum Jane Espenson created about two FBI agents tasked to monitor the installation where the government keeps all the wacky paranormal crap they’ve collected over the years. Gawked at the assembled hotness of Sci Fi’s stars: Caprica‘s Esai Morales, Stargate Universe‘s Robert Carlyle, and the Eureka trio of Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Colin Ferguson, and Joe Morton.

Had a couple of drinks, told Morton I’ve got his back, shook hands with Admiral Adama, exchanged furtive glances with McDonnell from afar, and then got stuck on a New Jersey Transit train for three hours. Geekery, thou art a harsh mistress. You give, and then you take.

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