After 15 years, the print edition of SFX is completely revamping its Spoiler Zone TV section. Editor-in-chief Dave Bradley explains why
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Times change and the media has to change with it if we want to deliver the best value to our readers. That’s the simple reasoning behind a hefty tweak we’re making to the print edition of SFX this month.
If you’ve read my little column on page 130 of issue 225 (opens in new tab) , or lurked around this thread on our official forum , you’ll know that we are dropping Spoiler Zone. Or at least the name and the format. There’ll still be a TV review section in the mag, but it’s long needed a makeover so we’ve finally obliged.
Get ready to read View Screen instead.
Spoiler Zone was part of the magazine for over 200 issues (since 1997, fact gatherers) – for much of that time as a novelty sealed section. Life was simpler back then; there were fewer programmes and fewer ways to watch them. Our American writers were reviewing TV episodes that might literally take years to reach the UK so “spoiler!” was a genuine warning for our (then predominantly British) audience. And of course the internet was in its infancy so the phenomenon of fan-run wikis was years away. Spoiler Zone went through various iterations and improvements, although the name stuck.
But we realise today that our audience has different needs. The SFX website enables us to publish detailed breakdowns of TV episodes the moment they’re broadcast. Taking that content and editing it down six weeks later is bonkers. Meanwhile we believe that a print magazine remains the perfect venue for overviews, criticism, and quality insight you can take your time over. We still want a place to recommend new shows or give our verdict on the latest season. So from next issue (opens in new tab) you’ll discover a new section in the print and digital mags called View Screen, where we’ll discuss current TV shows from a broader perspective.
View Screen’s strap line is “small screen, bigger picture”. If you’re the kind of person who used to study Spoiler Zone for its opinions and trivia, rather than for the spoilerific episode guides for which it was originally named, then you’ll enjoy the new format.
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If you used to skip Spoiler Zone altogether, it may be time for you to rejoin us – View Screen is six pages of opinion columns and interviews about the current biggest things on the box ( Teen Wolf ‘s Tyler Posey and the production design from True Blood join us in SFX 226 to talk about the new season).
And we’re still reviewing episodes in detail and rating all the TV you can eat here on SFX.co.uk. Keep watching!