CBC Television Network


Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 2015

Broadcast Medium: Television

On July 9th 2014, the CBC announced the acquisition of Ascension, a new six-episode, Canadian-produced original drama commissioned by American television network Syfy. A co-production of Lionsgate and Sea to Sky Studios in association with Quebec-based Lift Off Productions and Blumhouse Productions, Ascension was about to begin production in Montreal.

In a press release on the subject, the CBC said: “Viewers will be transported to 1963 to watch the drama unfold as the U.S. government launches a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship 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.”

Brian Van Holt was cast as the ship’s heroic captain, William Denninger, opposite Tricia Helfer, who would play the role of his wife, Viondra. In addition to Helfer, the cast featured a number of Canadian actors including Andrea Roth as Dr. Juliet Bryce and Jacqueline Byers as Nora Bryce . Wendy Crewson, Ryan Robbins and John Ralston were named as future guest stars. Other lead cast members included Brandon P. Bell as Aaron Gault, Tiffany Lonsdale as Emily Vanderhaus and P.J Boudousqué as James Toback. 

Ascension was created by Philip Levens and Adrian A Cruz, and Levens was also executive producer and showrunner on the series. Jason Blum was also an executive producer, along with Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble and Brett Burlock from Sea To Sky Studios. Canadian director Stephen Williams  directed the first two episodes. The series was co-financed and distributed by Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television.

The six-part series was launched on the CBC on Monday February 9th 2015, after having played on the US Syfy network in three blocks of two hours on December 15th, 16th and 17th 2014. It was reported that the CBC might order additional episodes if the initial min-series was a ratings success.

Written by Pip Wedge – July, 2014