SYFY'S ORIGINAL EVENT SERIES "ASCENSION" ENLISTS BRIAN VAN HOLT (COUGAR TOWN, THE BRIDGE)
NEW YORK - June 4, 2014 - Syfy today announced that Brian Van Holt (Cougar Town, The Bridge) will star in the channel's new original, six hour event series Ascension, portraying eponymous ship's captain, William Denninger. Van Holt joins the previously announced Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) in the intergalactic mystery series; the two will play husband and wife.
A politician as well as a military man, Denninger is a natural leader. Rising through the ship's ranks, he became captain of the Ascension as a result of his heroic actions during a catastrophic fire that nearly destroyed the ship early in its voyage. While strong-willed and confident, he and his wife, Viondra (Helfer), have a very public yet tortured marriage.
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 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 will appear opposite Reese Witherspoon in Jean-Marc Vallee's upcoming feature film Wild for Fox Searchlight. His other film credits include Black Hawk Down directed by Ridley Scott, Confidence directed by James Foley, Swat directed by Clark Johnson, House of Wax directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, and Bullet to the Head directed by Walter Hill.
On television, he appears in a recurring role as "Ray Burton" in FX's hit series The Bridge starring Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger. He also starred in the TBS/ABC comedy Cougar Town, and previously starred in David Milch's HBO series John from Cincinatti. He is repped by APA (agency) and Circle of Confusion (management).
Ascension is an ambitious original drama created and written by Philip Levens (Smallville) who will serve as Executive Producer and Showrunner. The series will be produced in Montreal, QC by Lionsgate Television and Sea To Sky Studios in association with Blumhouse Productions. Jason Blum (Stranded, The River, film franchises Paranormal Activity and The Purge) and Mark Stern are Executive Producers on the project along with Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble and Brett Burlock on behalf of Sea To Sky Studios. The event series will be co-financed and distributed by Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television.
Ascension is slated to launch in November 2014 and air through December.
About Sea To Sky Studios
Sea To Sky is a cross-border studio partnership between Lionsgate Television and Frank Giustra's Thunderbird Films focusing on premium cable and network content for the US, Canadian and International markets. Sea To Sky has a number of high profile projects in development, including a continuing series based on the Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro novels by "Gone Baby Gone" author Dennis Lehane, a limited event series of the events surrounding the John Paul Getty III kidnapping in 1973, and a Bret Easton Ellis television series adaptation of Jason Starr's novel "The Follower." Sea To Sky also has a first look deal in place with Kevin Costner.
About Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse Productions, founded by Jason Blum, is a multi-media production company that has pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking- producing high-quality micro-budget films for wide release. Since its launch, Blumhouse has produced more than 30 feature films including the highly profitable Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge and Sinister franchises. For television, Blumhouse is working on both scripted and non-scripted shows including projects for Syfy, HBO (The Normal Heart) and MTV (Eye Candy). Blumhouse previously executive produced Stranded for Syfy and The River for ABC and has a first look deal with Matt Kaplan's Chapter One. Blumhouse's The Purge, its first production under its first-look deal with Universal Pictures, opened to more than $34 million on its opening weekend with a budget of just $3 million. Insidious: Chapter Two from FilmDistrict, grossed over $41 million on its opening weekend with just a $5m budget. Blumhouse's upcoming micro-budget wide releases include Oculus for Relativity, Jessabelle for Lionsgate, The Purge: Anarchy for Universal and Paranormal Activity 5 for Paramount.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has over 30 television shows on more than 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first installment of the recently-launched Divergent franchise,, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions' Mud and Pantelion Films' breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Universal Cable Productions
Universal Cable Productions creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted and digital content across multiple media platforms and outlets for domestic and international distribution. UCP produces Covert Affairs, Psych, Playing House, Royal Pains and Suits for USA; Defiance, Dominion and Warehouse 13 for Syfy, and Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome for distribution on Machinima Prime/YouTube, Syfy and DVD/Blu-Ray. Universal Cable Productions is a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 96 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)