The fairytale ride of sci-fi spec Extant continues. After snagging one of the biggest commitments this season, a 13-episode straight to series order from CBS for next summer, the project has landed Oscar winner Halle Berry as the lead in her first series regular role in a quarter-century. Additionally, Berry and her producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, have entered into a two-year, first-look production deal with CBS TV Studios.
Extant, from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV and CBS Studios, centers on an astronaut (Berry) who returns home from a year-long solo mission in space and tries to reconnect with her husband and son in their everyday life. Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history. “There’s only one Halle Berry and we are incredibly honored that she has chosen Extant to expand her illustrious career,” Spielberg said. “As she does with everything she touches, she will bring a deep authenticity to her role and I very much look forward to working with her.” Added CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, “Halle is the type of award-winning actress you dream of collaborating with for an event project such as Extant.”
Landing Berry represents a major coup for CBS as the actress has been wooed to do series for years but had turned down every project to date, including Showtime’s Homeland and CBS’ Hostages last season. “I’m always on the lookout for amazing roles and when you see material that contains this strong of auspices, nuance and complexity it compels me to run toward it no matter the medium,” Berry said. “For five months a year I’ll get to live with and play this incredibly intelligent and vulnerable woman, and for the remainder of the year I’ll continue to look for other roles that move me as deeply as this one.” In addition to her Oscar for Monster’s Ball, Berry, repped by Vincent Cirrincione and CAA, won an Emmy for her starring role in the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Extant is executive produced by Spielberg, showrunner Greg Walker, creator Mickey Fisher, Brooklyn Weaver, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Adam Rodin is co-producing the project.