After two seasons and one creative revamp, CBS and star Halle Berry have pulled the plug on summer sci-fi drama series Extant. The network is staying in business with the Oscar-winning actress, putting in development Legalease, a drama which Berry will executive produce.
“CBS, Halle Berry and the producers have decided to conclude the Extant story after last season’s exciting and fitting conclusion,” said Glenn Geller, President of CBS Entertainment. “Extant played an important role in expanding CBS’ lineup of original scripted programming in the summer. We are proud of the show’s success on the network, as well as its popularity on Amazon Prime Video. We also want to thank the incomparable Halle Berry for her commitment and support for the series and look forward to working with her on our next project together.”
Extant had a fairytale start, with a spec by unknown writer Mickey Fisher finding its way to Amblin TV and sparking a bidding war before landing at CBS with a straight-to-series order and attracting Berry for the lead in her TV series debut. It was the second show under CBS’ new summer original drama series model following Under The Dome.
Extant, starring Berry as Molly, an astronaut who mysteriously gets pregnant on a yearlong solo mission in outer space, posted solid delayed-viewing increases in Season 1 and was a strong performer on Amazon Prime, which streamed Extant and Under The Dome episodes just days after the episodes’ broadcast premiere. But the futuristic thriller couldn’t attract broad enough audience for a network show.
In an effort to do that, the series underwent significant changes in Season 2, with Molly sent on the run and most of the supporting cast revamped, including bringing Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a new male lead. Ratings slipped even further, with the two-hour season (and now series) finale down 30% to a 0.7/3 from its Season 1 ender.
Still, there had been a discussion about possibly keeping the show, which is owned by CBS and does well internationally, largely because of Berry’s star power. It also does OK domestically because of the network’s business model for summer drama series that makes them profitable before they even premiere on broadcast. In the end, a decision was made to end it.
“I am so proud of what we accomplished on Extant,” said Berry. “This season seemed such a natural place to end Molly’s journey that I, along with CBS, felt it best served the story to leave it there. It was my first foray into episodic television, and I’m excited to continue my relationship with CBS, producing more compelling stories through my 606 Films production banner.”
Written by Steven Lichtman, Legalease centers on a biracial lawyer from Chicago who follows a case to New Orleans, where she finds herself partnering with a good ol’ boy white attorney while working in a very particular justice system that will ultimately expose the biases we all harbor. Lichtman executive produces with Berry, Dan Thomas and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas for CBS Television Studios.