March 11, 2015
There you go, Syfy announces an event series, they think they can tease the audince with a cliff-hanger and yes, of course, Syfy is not going forward with it and leaves an event series hanging with a cliff-hanger! Thank you Syfy!
When last year Syfy ordered Ascension as its first event series/miniseries in six years, it was with an eye towards continuing the mini as a regular series the way the network did with Battlestar
Galactica awhile back. That won’t be the case this time. “We were very happy with Ascension as an event series, but with so much high profile development in the works, we have decided not to
pursue a full series,” Syfy said in a statement to Deadline.
It is unclear whether the project’s producers, Universal Cable Prods., Lionsgate TV and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods., will try to shop the potential series elsewhere.
The six-hour Ascension premiered with an OK 1.8 million in December. Written/exec produced by Philip Levens (Smallville), the series was set onboard starship Ascension and revolved around hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage to populate a new world. The project’s executive producers included former Syfy head of programming Mark Stern.
June 28, 2014
Rescue Me‘s Andrea Roth has climbed aboard Ascension, Syfy’s forthcoming six-hour limited series set in the far reaches of space.
Additionally, PJ Boudousque (Pretty Little Liars) has joined the project, which stars Cougar Town‘s Brian Van Holt as the captain of the titular vessel, which was launched into space by the U.S. government in 1963 to populate a new world. The series picks up 50 years into the mission, as a mysterious murder causes those on board to question the true nature of their mission. Roth will play Juliet Bryce, the head doctor on the Ascension. Her relationship with her daughter Nora (Jacqueline Byers) has been difficult and strained for a while and the murder on board the ship has made it worse. Boudousque, meanwhile, co-stars as one of the starship’s maintenance workers.
The cast also includes Battlestar Galactica alum Tricia Helfer as manipulative power broker Vionda Denninger — aka the captain’s wife, with whom he shares a difficult marriage. Ascension is due to blast off in November.
June 24, 2014
Brandon P. Bell, Tiffany Lonsdale and Jacqueline Byers will co-star opposite Tricia Helfer and Brian Van Holt in Syfy‘s six-hour miniseries Ascension. Set aboard the starship Ascension, the mini centers on hundreds of men, women and children sent on a covert, century-long mission to populate a new world. But as they approach the point of no return 50 years into the journey, the murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their mission. Bell, repped by Luber Roklin and Jay Schachter at Abrams Artists Agency, plays the confident and capable First Officer Oren Gault, who was born to maintenance workers on the lower decks.
An honest and extremely capable Executive Officer, his mettle is tested when he’s ordered to investigate the murder of a young girl, a job for which Gault thinks he is wholly unprepared. Lonsdale, repped by House Of Reps and Open Entertainment, plays Chief Astronomer Emily Vanderhaus, the murder victim’s older sister whose rocky marriage with Safety Officer Duke Vanderhaus will be put to the test by this family tragedy. Byers, repped by LeFeaver Talent, plays Nora Bryce, who is under intense familial pressure to follow her mother by apprenticing at the medical center but instead finds herself drawn to the Terraforming Department and the promise of building a new world. Angered by the shocking murder a young girl, Nora refuses to let the matter die, and is intensely interested in seeing the killer apprehended.
June 4, 2014
The cast of Syfy’s ambitious new space-set series Ascension is coming together, and the network has now chosen the man who’ll be piloting the generational ship.
Showrunner Philip Levens (Smallville) has tapped actor Brian Van Holt (Black Hawk Down, Cougar Town) to star alongside Battlestar Galactica fan favorite Tricia Helfer. He brings comedy chops as well as action sensibilities, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the role.
The series follows the inhabitants of a secret starship launched from Earth in the early 1960s, tasked with populating a new world. But as they approach the point of no return, the murder of a young woman causes the crew to question what the mission is really about.
Holt will play the ship’s captain William Denninger, who Entertainment Weekly describes as “a natural leader, a military man and politician ... strong-willed and confident.” He apparently became captain of the Ascension after saving the ship from a fire that nearly killed everyone aboard. Holt’s character is the husband of Helfer’s Viondra, though the two apparently have a “tortured marriage.”
The six-hour event series is slated to debut in November, and it sounds like a mix of Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica — which is an admittedly strange mashup, but we’re still dying to see it.
Saw Brian van Holt for the first time in Threshold, one of my favourite one season TV Series, I thought he was a good match with Carla Gugino. Things are shaping up, bring it on!
April 30, 2014
Tricia Helfer is heading back to Syfy — and outer space — in the new six-hour event series Ascension. Per EW.com, the Battlestar Galactica alum will play manipulative power broker Vionda Denniger who navigates life aboard the starship Ascension, which was sent into space by the U.S. government in 1963 to populate a new world.
Ascension picks up 50 years into the mission, as a mysterious murder causes those on board to wonder why they’re really there. Helfer was last seen headlining ABC’s Killer Women, which aired six episodes earlier this year.
March 14, 2014
Well, right on the heels of post below about Syfy's president promising a different direction, into Space, they greenlight a Space Travel miniseries. Okay it's not a regular TV series but it's a start:
With event programming making a comeback, Syfy signaled its return to the arena last year when it ramped up miniseries development with such projects as Warriors Of Oz, from director Timur Bekmambetov and four-hour minis based on Larry Niven’s Ringworld and on Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End with producer Michael De Luca. Now the cable network has greenlighted its first miniseries since 2009′s Alice: the six-hour Ascension, which will premiere in the fourth quarter.
It marks one of the first major greenlight decisions for Syfy’s new head of original programming, EVP Bill McGoldrick. His predecessor, Mark Stern, serves as executive producer on Ascension alongside microbudget horror film king Jason Blum. Written/exec produced by Philip Levens (Smallville), Ascension is set onboard starship Ascension.
In 1963, the U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the Ascension to populate a new world. Nearly 50 years into the journey, as they approach the point of no return, the mysterious murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their mission. The series will be produced in Montreal by Sea To Sky Studios in association with Blumhouse Productions.
Sky to Sky’s Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble and Brett Burlock also exec produce the event series, co-financed and distributed by Universal Cable Prods. and Lionsgate TV. Syfy’s miniseries history also includes Battlestar Galactica, which became a series, and Steven Spielberg’s Taken.
March 13, 2014
Well I really, really want to believe him, really do. But last year, in April, also five real sci-fi projects were announced and none of them have become TV series. Still I think it's good to hear at least it's his intention to go back into space! See post below:
Over the past few years, Syfy has found mainstream success with broad hits like Warehouse 13, Eureka and the recent social media juggernaut Sharknado. But Syfy’s president is apparently looking to the network’s sci-fi-heavy past as inspiration for a new direction — and that could be good news for genre fans who took issue with the channel's change of direction half a decade ago.
Syfy president Dave Howe chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about the network’s beefed-up slate of space-set sci-fi series and harder sci-fi projects, and said they’re trying to reclaim some ground that has been claimed by breakout hits like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Basically: If you like new shows like Defiance and Ron Moore’s Helix, that’s only the beginning:
“We want to be the best science-fiction channel that we possibly can, and in some respects, that means going back to the more traditional sci-fi/fantasy that fans often say they feel we've exited. We’re going to occupy that space in a way we haven't for the past few years.
That's the way to send a message in a big way that we're back and we care about sci-fi. There is enormous pressure to get that back, because we used to own it. And we're going to own it again.”
The network is also looking for a new space opera or two in the vein of critical darling Battlestar Galactica and the recently canceled Stargate Universe, plus some high-profile miniseries that could have potential to grow into regular series. If they're looking for inspiration, please look back to Farscape. The world needs more weird, awesome space operas.
The network will also be eyeing more international co-productions, a la the stellar Continuum, Lost Girl and new addition Bitten. This approach seems like a nice move, picking up exclusive U.S. rights to international sci-fi fare. They've found a few hits already, and considering how so many shows can work in different markets now, it can hopefully give good shows a shot at a bigger audience.
It also sounds like the long-running tradition of producing sci-fi B-movies will be scaled down soon, though there will still be a place on the schedule for some campy mashups and future Sharknado sequels. Off-network re-runs are also being largely phased out, after what Howe calls “a disaster” of trying to program Lost reruns a few years ago. In a world of streaming and DVR, reruns just don't carry much weight.
Can the network reestablish itself as a home for great sci-fi, or has that starship sailed? What shows would you like to see?