Syfy promises a return to space opera at last, with Ascension

Syfy has long been promising the return of TV shows with actual freaking spaceships in them, ever since they distanced themselves from their science fiction roots back in 2009. But all that's about to change — Syfy is ready to go back to space.

Syfy president Dave Howe and newly crowned VP original content, Bill McGoldrick, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the new direction they're hoping to take this channel. First step: The return of quality, scripted space opera. McGoldrick says Syfy is under "enormous pressure" to get back to spaceships. And apparently he knows that the only way to show that they care (and are listening) is to actually make a space opera — instead of just developing another 20 projects quietly, only to kill them off.

How are they planning to do this? With the new scripted series Ascension:

McGoldrick's first pull on the scripted trigger Ascension, a limited series for which Syfy is closing a deal and eyeing for the fourth quarter. Part Battlestar and part Downton Abbey, it follows the 100-year-long space shuttle of colonists fleeing an Earth threatened by the early Cold War.

But that's not all — Howe has plans to slash the made-for-TV movies, from the massive 20 to 24 per year to something much smaller. Which could still allow stellar camp classics like the annual Sharknado sequels to shine. And they want to make more miniseries.

Sounds like a step in the right direction. We would LOVE to see Syfy making more good science fiction television, especially set in space. But the real question, is Space Opera willing to take Syfy back?