Syfy said it has commissioned a fourth season of scripted series Sanctuary.
Production of the new 13-episode season will begin this spring in Vancouver, aiming for a fall 2011 premiere.
The show, starring Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis alum Amanda Tapping, has continued to perform well at a time when some other high-profile sci-fi series on the network have faltered. Syfy canceled Caprica, a spinoff of hit drama Battlestar Galactica, midway through its freshman run, and denied Stargate Universe a third season, seemingly ending the Stargate franchise's extended run on the network.
SGU fans and producers partly blamed a move from "Sci Fri Friday" to Tuesday nights for a falloff in that show's audience, so Sanctuary may have benefited from staying on Friday nights, after the network reversed a plan to move it to Tuesday.
Sanctuary's third-season premiere on Oct. 15 drew nearly 1.8 million total viewers on a live plus same day basis, according to Nielsen figures, and has been consistent in drawing between 1.25 million and 1.5 million viewers to episode premieres using that yardstick.
Mark Stern, president of original programming at Syfy and co-head of original content at Universal Cable Productions, announced the order.
Sanctuary is produced in association with Syfy and is distributed by Tricon Films and Television. Created by fellow Stargate graduate Damian Kindler (originally as a Web series), Sanctuary's current season is executive produced by Kindler, Tapping, Martin Wood, Keith Beedie and Tricon Films.
"Sanctuary follows brilliant scientist Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her team, who use their unique combination of instinct, medicine and cutting-edge science to find and aid a clandestine population of beings that the world refuses to believe exists. The series also stars Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as the quick-witted Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as tech wiz Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as the sinister John Druitt," the network said.
Shot almost entirely on green screen, Sanctuary was the first television series in North America to use the RED camera exclusively. Its visual effects were nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award.
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