Syfy Plots Return to Its Roots, Hopes For Another ‘Battlestar’-Style Breakout
Once home to the celebrated reimagining of Battlestar Galactica, Syfy in recent years has become best known for outlandish, if wildly popular, B-films like Mansquito and Sharknado. However, parent company NBCUniversal hopes to change that with a return to the cable channel’s sci-fi roots — and a desire to discover the next Game of Thrones or Walking Dead.
“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,” Syfy President Dave Howe told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to occupy that space in a way we haven’t for the past few years.”
To that end, Syfy’s new executive vice president of original content, Bill McGoldrick, has given two mandates, which the website states are to “greenlight a space opera a la Battlestar and usher the network back into the golden age of high-profile, big-budget miniseries now duplicated by so many of its competitors.”
The first project looks to be Ascension, a limited series about a century-long space voyage of colonists fleeing an Earth threatened by the early Cold War; it’s characterized as Battlestar Galactica meets Downton Abbey.McGoldrick also plans more international co-productions, like Continuum and Lost Girl, while cutting back on those B-movies — although the hit Sharknado will likely stick around, with sequels airing as an annual event.