Sci Fi renews 'Sanctuary'

More than 3 million viewers watched premiere

Sci Fi Channel has renewed "Sanctuary" for a second season, ordering 13 new hourlong episodes.

"Sanctuary," the first TV series to use live-action actors against virtual sets, is set to go into production in Vancouver early next year for a 2009 premiere.

The show follows the adventures of the beautiful, enigmatic Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), a brilliant scientist who holds the secrets of a clandestine population. More than 3 million viewers watched the Oct. 3 premiere, making it Sci Fi's highest-rated original series debut since "Eureka" in July 2006.

"Sci Fi will continue to trail blaze the television landscape by further exploring the many worlds of 'Sanctuary' through its unique green-screen environments," said Mark Stern, executive vp original programming at Sci Fi and co-head of original programming at Universal Cable Prods.

Robin Dunne, Ryan Robbins, Emilie Ullerup and Christopher Heyerdahl also star in the series, created by Damian Kindler. Kindler and Tapping will exec produce Season 2 with Martin Wood, Keith Beedie and N. John Smith.