Television’s Independent Film Channel now just IFC

MUMBAI: In a small bit of news that may come as a surprise to many, Independent Film Channel has officially changed its name to just IFC.

The regular viewers might have probably figured that out by now. But the recently announced that the corporate paperwork has been signed to change the network’s name to IFC.

It’s just another example of how networks evolve over time with their names and images sometimes catching up to them; in recent times a channel that pops up in the head is The Learning Channel becoming TLC as its programming changed dramatically.

Closer home we have witnessed such changes among news channels and sports channels in recent times.

The changeover began in 2010 when IFC began airing its first original comedy, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.

The network now produces six original comedies. The most recent, a spoof of prime-time soaps titled The Spoils of Babylon, starring Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire with several other famous names making cameos, began past week. Reruns of Arrested Development were also a key part of the transition.

While there are plenty of places to find broad-based comedy on TV, IFC managers figured they could fill a niche with shows that are ‘slightly off’ - as IFC says in its tagline.

IFC, owned by AMC Networks Inc, has also acquired movies that are anything but independent; over the holiday season it ran installments of the National Lampoon ‘Vacation’ comedies.

Financially, it’s always detrimental for a network in creating its own original programming than in relying on movies that were originally produced for other venues.

IFC has some surprises in store later this year with a new series, Garfunkel & Oates, starring the comic duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, and a second season of Maron, about the comic Marc Maron.

Though IFC’s transition had been long time due, signing the documents striking off the name Independent Film Channel was still a significant move for the channel. Now what’s left to be seen is does it have an impact on its reach and viewership, only time can tell.

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