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CBS is bringing both of its high-profile summer sci-fi dramas back.
The network has renewed Under the Dome for a third season and Halle Berry starrer Extant for a second, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Meanwhile, summer soap Reckless starring Cam Gigandet will not be back for a second season.
The pricey series, from Amblin TV, are both off-set by an in-season second window on Amazon and rich international deals that make Dome and Extant profitable even before they air.
From executive producers Steven Spielberg and Stephen King and based on the latter’s book, Dome changed the way CBS approaches scripted fare in the summer. returned for its sophomore run with a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.4 million total viewers, down from a 3.3 and 13.1 million viewers a year ago. On a weekly basis, the Neal Baer drama starring Dean Norris has often lost the demo in head-to-head competition with NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, the latter of which reached new highs this season. Season two was summer’s top scripted series with 11 million total viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults under 50.
Dome — which this season saw EP Brian K. Vaughan exit the series after overseeing its development dating back to its time at Showtime — has been a standout performer when factoring in seven days delayed viewing. The series recently gained 4.3 million total viewers and added 1.3 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo — up 57 percent and 68 percept, respectively, to become the week’s top programs among total viewers and tie for the lead in the demo.
Dome has become a key player in CBS’ summer strategy. Since it launched last summer, CBS has focused on original scripted dramas in the often little-watched warm-weather months. This year, the network added Berry’s sci-fi drama Extant to its roster with a straight-to-series pickup and signed a Dome-like deal with Amazon to again offset the costs. (CBS also recently added James Patterson adaptation Zoo with a straight-to-series pickup for summer 2015, inking a rich deal with Netflix to help offset those costs.)
For its part, Extant has not performed nearly as well as Dome‘s freshman run. The sci-fi mystery drama opened to 9.4 million viewers and a paltry 1.7 in the adults 18-49 demo, though it performed well with adults 25-54 (2.4). Three weeks into its run on Wednesdays, CBS moved the drama from 9 to 10 p.m., though the shift to the latter hour did little to move the needle and the network wound up moving the season finale out of Premiere Week. The series, also from Dome EP Spielberg and Amblin TV, has been a solid performer on DVR. Season one averaged 8.6 million total viewers and a 1.7 in the demo.
“We’re committed to delivering our viewers and advertisers year-round programming with a wide variety of storytelling,” CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said. “We continue to see summer as a great place for unique concepts, innovative business models and passionate television audiences.”
Meanwhile, Southern legal soap Reckless — from CBS Television Studios and EP Dana Stevens, will not see a second season after averaging 4 million total viewers and a 0.6 in the demo over the summer. The fate of once-canceled drama Unforgettable has not yet been determined.
For Amblin TV, the banner — overseen by Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank — has seven series on five different networks: ABC’s midseason drama The Whispers, CBS’ Dome and Extant, FX’s The Americans, TNT’s Falling Skies and upcoming Public Morals as well as Fox’s fall debut Red Band Society. The company also has a Minority Report reboot at Fox, TNT pilot Lumen, as well as adaptations of Nino Santo at A&E and Abandon at USA, among others.
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