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.