After making waves in the marketplace, the sci-fi drama spec Extant from new writer Mickey Fisher and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television has landed at CBS with a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes to air next summer. On CBS, Extant will join another serialized sci-fi drama from Amblin TV, Under The Dome, which was recently renewed for next summer after a breakout freshman run. Broadcast, basic and premium cable networks were all heavily pursuing Extant, which hit the market a couple of weeks ago. Most suitors offered production commitments, making the choice difficult, with the producers mulling whether to go lighter with the material on broadcast or darker on cable. I hear the winning pitch by CBS’ Nina Tassler was that the network successfully launched Amblin’s Under The Dome, which also was a 13-episode straight-to-series order, and that Extant could be paired with the Stephen King adaptation to form a Steven Spielberg night.Extant, which CBS TV Studios will co-produce with Amblin TV, is a futuristic thriller about a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. Her experiences lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history. “Extant is a very original concept with layers of humanity, mystery and surprise that reveal itself throughout the script,” Tassler said. “Our partnership with Amblin for Under The Dome showed that viewers respond to high-quality event programming in the summer. We look forward to building on that with Extant and offering CBS audiences another high-concept, unique event for summer television.”
Spielberg, who not always lends his name to Amblin series, is executive producing Extant with Greg Walker, who serves as showrunner, Fisher, Fisher’s manager Brooklyn Weaver and Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Adam Rodin will co-produce. The series, which was packaged and sold by WME, will be distributed worldwide by CBS Studios International. Like Under The Dome, which streams on Amazon four days after the CBS premiere, Extant will likely too get a short-window digital distribution deal.