Ascension Is Not Getting A Full Series Order From Syfy, Here’s Why

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AscensionSyfy has been in the process of redefining itself as a network and reestablishing a commitment to producing original content instead of the glut of schlocky creature features, reality shows, and professional wrestling. Some of their attempts have fared pretty well: 12 Monkeys is decent, Helix seems to have found an audience, as has Z Nation. Others, not as much. One project they had high hopes for, Ascension, didn’t hit quite like they hoped late last year, and it will not move forward as a series.

The network first ordered Ascension as an event series, which I always used to call a miniseries as a kid, their first such endeavor in six years. While it was intended to be a limited thing initially, they always had an eye on turning it into something bigger, working it into an ongoing series, much like they did with Battlestar Galactica years ago. According to Deadline, however, that is not going to happen.

In a statement to the trade, Syfy representatives said, “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.”

When the six-hour event premiered back in December, it did decent ratings, attracting 1.8 million viewers, though it left many wanting more, fans and critics alike, and never really managed to connect with audiences. Just listening to comments around these parts, a lot of people tuned in for an episode or two, but, especially after the big plot twist was revealed early on, many jumped ship and tuned out.

Philip Levens (Smallville) wrote and produced Ascension. The story revolves around the titular starship, which carried hundreds of men, women, and children on a century-long voyage with the aim of populating a new world.

While Ascension is no longer moving forward, Syfy still has a ton of potential new shows in the works, including adaptations of some of the best and brightest science fiction past and present. They’re working on adapting Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, as well as John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and too many to reasonably recount here.

The upcoming show I’m most excited about is The Expanse, based on the novels of James S.A. Corey. I just finished Leviathan Wakes, the first book in the series, and it’s one of the best recent sci-fi books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a sprawling space opera full of great characters and high stakes, with a twisted future noir mystery at the center. It’s a damn good time, and if you haven’t checked it out, you should, it’s definitely worth your time. Now we’re just left to hope Syfy doesn’t fuck it up.


  1. Nessy76 says:

    Good. It was awful.

  2. EstoniaKat says:

    Yeah, I was out after the twist.
    You can’t make the next Battlestar Galactica when (SPOILER REDACTED).

  3. Mike Bennett says:

    mistake there a lot of fun god material that could have driven the series for years..
    and the launch for the stars was happening !!! how would the crew react with being
    51 years into the mission already yet just launching today ??? would they figure out the truth behind the governments 51 years of lies?!!! an amazing cast and storyline from a time long gone!!! just a huge mistake, I hope they change their minds!! or maybe another station will pick it up?!!!

  4. Michał Wacław Paszek says:

    They could redeem only started shooting like StarGate Universe.

  5. cynic44 says:

    Cotton candy, looked big but didn’t fill you up.

  6. Poopdeck says:

    Glad they’re gettin back into real science fiction and less of that American south testosterone crap.

  7. Joe says:

    I agree that Ascension was more smarmy bullpuck. It seemed pretty cookie-cutter despite the premise… like a not-so-great whodunit that happened to take place on a spaceship.
    By the way, when did it become cool to disregard capitalization, punctuation and proper grammar? It’s tough enough to get one’s point across through the medium of writing without skipping this important stuff. Sorry for the old guy rant.

  8. Brian White says:

    Makes me nervous for Old Man’s War

  9. ClannibalFTW says:

    It was seriously the worst twist. Too bad, I was excited about having Tricia Helfer back in scifi.
    This network has a happy trigger finger for cancelling shows though. I will be severely pissed if they ever cancel Defiance. From what I’ve seen it’s the most hardcore scifi show they currently have. And it’s surprisingly good.