This should come as no big surprise to those who have been following my predictions, but Syfy’s “event” mini-series Ascension–which aired across three consecutive nights in December–will not continue into an ongoing series. The original broadcast pulled okay ratings by its network’s standards, averaging a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights across its three nights. Those are actually the best ratings for an original Syfy series since early last year (the network has been struggling of late), but apparently not good enough for what was likely an expensive production and one that the network promoted heavily. In a statement to Deadline Hollywood, Syfy claimed that “‘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”. The fact is that the network does have several big projects on their slate including the space opera’s The Expanse (based on the novels by James S. A. Corey) and Dark Matter (based on the comic book series) as well as a mini-series adaptation of Arthur C. Clark’s Childhood’s End, a Krypton series and more. And with Ascension pulling only so so ratings and not drawing much in the way of buzz, the network apparently didn’t consider it worthwhile to pursue that horse any further.
And while technically Syfy may claim that they are not actually cancelling the show because it was a mini-series to begin with, the major cliffhanger that it ended on (with little in the way of resolution to the storylines covered) indicated that they definitely entered into the project with plans to carry on the story. So I will be marking it down as a cancellation and that actually counts as the first of the sci fi / fantasy shows from the 2014-15 season to get the ax (coming just a little over a year after Syfy made Being Human the first cancellation of the 2013-14 season). And I don’t consider it likely that another network (or one of the streaming services) will raise their hand to continue Ascension, but I’m guessing that the fans who are out there will take a stab at trying to keep it alive.