Migrating movie stars did very well in today’s Emmy Awards nominations, so this time next year might be very bright for Halle Berry and her new sci-fi thriller Extant (1.7/6). However, sticking to the present for now, while the best debut of the summer so far and the highest rated show of the night, the launch last night of the Steven Spielberg executive produced CBS astronaut series didn’t exactly soar in a 9 PM time slot with only the second hour of So You Think You Can Dance (1.2/4) as original competition.
Compared to CBS’ last big summer drama debut, Under The Dome, Extant was down 48%. Also produced in part by Spielberg and also straight to series, Dome got a 3.2/9 preliminary rating and 13.14 million viewers for its June 24, 2013 premiere. That went up to a 3.3/9 and 13.53 million in the final numbers. Having said that, while similar in many ways to the debut of Extant, which got 9.424 million viewers last night, Under The Dome’s 10 PM premiere also faced off against a much more competitive schedule of the last hour and a bit of the last game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final on NBC. Scoring a 3.3/10, the Chicago Blackhawks winning Game 6 hockey match up against the Boston Bruins was a big win for the peacock and helped make the finals the most watched on ice series since 1994. Compared to the 2.1/7 Adults 18-49 final numbers of Dome’s Season 2 debut on June 30, Extant was down 19%. Extant did best the 9.41 million total viewers who watched Dome’s Season 2 premiere. It’s viewership also made the new show the most watched show of last night.
In Extant, Berry plays an astronaut trying to both reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in space and figure out a very strange change in her circumstances. In the lead-up to last night’s debut, the Oscar winner was seemingly everywhere promoting the show. It didn’t seem to pay off. Also, the premiere of Extant was undoubtedly not aided by the relative flatness of its 8 PM lead-in Big Brother (1.9/7). In its third Wednesday broadcast of this season, the veteran reality show was basically steady with the season low tie of last week. Overall CBS was No. #1 in both the demo with a rating of 1.6/6 and viewers with 7.338 million watching.
UPDATE, 8:45 AM: Not that the night was entire about CBS as all the other Big 4 had original shows on last night. Over on Fox’s SYTYCD, the top 20 contestants performed last night and then 2 of them said “sayonara.” With the increased competition of Extant added to the night, the 2-hour live unscripted show was down 14% from its July 2 show. In preliminary numbers, that’s a season low for the Fox show and ties an all time series low. At 10 PM, NBC’s Taxi Brooklyn (1.0/3) was even with last week with ABC’s Motive (0.8/3) was also even with its last original episode of June 25. On the CW, the iHeart Radio Pool Party (0.3/1) was up a tenth from last year’s special on July 15, 2013.