CBS Orders Summer Event Series 'Salvation' From Alex Kurtzman

Alex Kurtzman - H 2015
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CBS is restocking its shelves for summer.

Days after canceling two of its three scripted summer series, the network has given a straight-to-series order to Salvation, an event series from Alex Kurtzman, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Described as a suspense thriller, Salvation centers on an MIT grad student and a tech superstar who bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery — that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro (Extant) wrote the script, based on the story by Matt Wheeler, and will executive produce with Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and Peter Lenkov. Kurtzman's Secret Hideout will produce with CBS Television Studios, where he has an overall deal. CBS Television Distribution will handle domestic distribution, with CBS Studios International controlling worldwide distribution.

The serialized hourlong drama has earned a 13-episode order for a summer 2017 launch.

Salvation is the type of fast-paced, dramatic ride that viewers look for in a summer event series,” CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller said Thursday in a statement. “We’re excited to launch another high concept, highly promotable show with great auspices that adds to our roster of year-round, original scripted programming.”

The series order shows CBS' continued investment in scripted summer programming despite the recent cancelations of first-year dramas BrainDead and American Gothic. CBS' other recent summer fare has included Under the Dome, which ran for three seasons, and Halle Berry space drama Extant, which lasted two years.

CBS' sole returning summer series is James Patterson's Zoo, which will be back for its third season. The network also has unscripted performer Big Brother, which was picked up for seasons 19 and 20 this past summer. The reality show recently launched the first season of its digital edition on CBS All Access.

Salvation marks the latest collaboration for CBS and Kurtzman, who split from his longtime writing partner Robert Orci in September and signed a new overall pact with the studio. He also is exec producing Star Trek: Discovery, set to launch on CBS All Access in May, in addition to CBS series Scorpion and Hawaii Five-0.

Lenkov also is an exec producer on the latter, as well as the network's MacGyver reboot, which was recently picked up for a full season.