Exclusive: Sleuth Gets a New Name; Meet Cloo
From the company that morphed Sci Fi into Syfy comes another channel name destined to wreak havoc with your computer's spell check.
TV Guide Magazine has confirmed that NBCUniversal will change the name of Sleuth, its crime and mystery cable channel, later this spring. The new name? Cloo TV.
Why the name change and quirky spelling? Just as NBCUniversal realized that it couldn't trademark the words Sci Fi, it faced the same problem with Sleuth. (Or Clue, for that matter.) But it can own the word Cloo.
The name switch represents the first major change among NBCUniversal's smaller "emerging networks" following its merger with Comcast earlier this year. Besides Sleuth/Cloo, the company's emerging networks include the horror-themed Chiller and the all high-definition Universal HD channels. Sleuth/Cloo runs movies and repeats of series like NCIS, JAG, House, Monk, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Walker: Texas Ranger.
Name changes aren't an easy sell and come with the added expense of making over everything from company stationery to on-air promos. Then there's the potential blowback from viewers. NBCUniversal (back when it was still NBC Universal, two words) caught quite a bit of grief over the Syfy rebrand — with some critics questioning the use of a made-up word that was still pronounced "Sci Fi," not "siffy."
But the move to Syfy also signaled a shift in direction for that network, away from a pure sci-fi focus to one that was much broader. In the case of Sleuth-to-Cloo, it was much more of an effort to control the brand while the cable network's crime-and-mystery focus remains the same.
Type Sleuth into a search engine, and results pop up for the game of the same name or multiple movies with that title, before the channel. Cloo won't pose the same problem. Sleuth's current tagline, by the way, already hints at the channel's new name: "Get clued in."
NBCUniversal isn't ready to officially announce the change to Cloo, although at least one executive has already let the news slip via Twitter. Says an insider involved with the change: "We understand our viewers' passion for crime and mystery... While we're serious about our content, we never take ourselves too seriously."
Among other recent name changes, Discovery Communications' Science Channel announced earlier this week that it would now be known simply as "Science."
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