11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS Cancels 'Extant,' Developing Drama From Halle Berry
It's the end of the road for Extant — but not the end of CBS' relationship with star Halle Berry.
The network has canceled summer drama Extant after two seasons and put a legal drama executive produced by Berry in development, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
"CBS, Halle Berry and the producers have decided to conclude the Extant story after last season’s exciting and fitting conclusion," CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller said. "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."
That next project will be drama Legalease, produced by Berry and centering on a biracial lawyer from Chicago who follows a case to New Orleans, where she partners with a good ol' boy white attorney while working in a justice system that will ultimately expose the biases that society harbors. Steve Lichtman will pen the script and exec produce the CBS Television Studios drama alongside Berry and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. The drama is part of Berry's two-year overall deal with CBSTVS that was part of her signing on to star in Extant. It's unclear if Berry will have an onscreen role in the drama, though that is not the plan at this time.
"I am so proud of what we accomplished on Extant," Berry said. "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. I’ve loved this experience working with such a talented cast and creative team. 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."
The decision to cancel Extant follows a creative reboot for season two. In a bid to juice ratings, Extant changed showrunners with new bosses Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro partnering with creator Mickey Fisher to focus more on star Berry. The series parted ways with former regulars Goran Visnjic and Camryn Manheim and added Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the show's male lead. Produced by Amblin Television and CBS Television Studios, season two returned to a series low with a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. It averaged 4.7 million total viewers in live-plus-same-day returns — on par with season one despite being moved to follow summer hit Big Brother.
Despite its ratings woes, Extant was already profitable for CBS thanks to a streaming deal with Amazon that allowed the company to service episodes four days after their network debut. It's the same formula that CBS used to help offset costs with Under the Dome, creating a new business model for high-end scripted fare in the typically low-rated summer viewing months. The network has a similar deal in place for the already renewed Zoo and upcoming Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife) entry BrainDead.
For Amblin Television, the news comes after CBS canceled summer flagship Under the Dome after its third season this past summer. The company, which also said farewell to Falling Skies this year, still has TNT drama Public Morals, Fox's struggling freshman Minority Report and FX's critical darling The Americans. The future of ABC's summer freshman The Whispers has not yet officially been determined, though it's considered highly unlikely to continue.
Berry is repped by CAA, Vincent Cirrincione and Stone Meyer.