CBS has made decisions on three of its summer original scripted series, picking up Under The Dome and Extant for next summer. There is no information on the number of episodes but word is that the shows — both from Amblin TV and CBS TV Studios — would likely be matching their previous 13-episode pickups.
Legal sudser Reckless, which aired in the summer after being originally slated for midseason, will not be coming back. There is no final word on CBS’ fourth summer drama Unforgettable though there have been positive signs that the crime series would get some fourth season order. I hear talks are ongoing between CBS and Sony Pictures TV, which co-produces the series with CBS TV Studios.
With the Under The Dome and Extant renewals, CBS already has three high-profile original drama series locked in for next summer, as the two will be joined by straight-to-series Zoo, an adaptation of James Patterson’s novel.
Under The Dome changed the summer programming paradigm in summer 2013 as a big-budget drama drawing in-season level strong ratings in the off-season. It also created a new business template through its precedent-setting deal with Amazon that allowed the streaming service to make episodes available four days after they first air on CBS. CBS and Amazon struck a similar agreement for Extant this year, which, coupled with international sales, pushed the two series toward profitability before they’d even aired, which made their ratings almost irrelevant. There is no official confirmation, but CBS is expected to extend the Amazon partnership for both series to next season.
Under The Dome‘s renewal was a no-brainer as the series, although down from Season 1, still ranked as the summer’s top scripted series, with 11 million viewers, and 2.7/08 in adults 18-49. Extant, which faced very high expectations with a strong pedigree and Halle Berry as the star, was softer than many expected, averaging 8.64 million viewers and 1.7/06 in adults 18-49. Still, it was a big DVR gainer, and CBS brass reportedly felt the show had more stories to explore creatively and loved having Berry as the lead.
Amblin TV has seven series on the air, Extant and Under The Dome on CBS, The Whispers on ABC; The Americans on FX; Falling Skies and the upcoming Public Morals on TNT; and Red Band Society on Fox.
Reckless never took off, finishing a quiet summer run with a 0.7 in 18-59.