TV Ratings: Syfy Mini Return 'Ascension' Opens to 1.8 Million Viewers

Ascension S01E01 Still - H 2014
Jan Thijs/Syfy

Ascension S01E01 Still - H 2014

Syfy's move back into the space opera kicked off with Ascension on Monday night. The miniseries, Syfy's first in more than five years, opened to a solid (if not spectacular) 1.8 million viewers.

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The project, which network chief Dave Howe is eyeing as a potential series, airs two more installments this week (on Tuesday and Wednesday) before DVR tells the full picture of how its being digested by viewers. Genre fare remains some of the most time-shifted serial programming on TV.

Of the 1.8 million viewers, 882,000 were adults 25-54 and 772,000 were adults 18-49. All three stats are on par with the January opener for Helix — one that saw significant improvement in live-plus-three day ratings.

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It's been nearly five years since Syfy last aired an original miniseries — and even longer since it shouldered the bulk of the financial burden. 2010's Riverworld, the last mini to air on the network, was a Canadian co-production and debuted in 2010 to 2.1 million viewers.

Syfy is obviously gunning for Battlestar Galactica buzz in its new slate. The former flagship, also originally conceived as a mini, bowed to 3.9 and 4.5 million viewers when it debuted. (Those stats come with the major caveat of being circa 2003, when DVR boosts were negligible.)