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CBS Canceling ‘Extant,’ Developing Halle Berry Legal Drama

CBS has canceled summer drama series “Extant,” which starred Halle Berry, after two seasons.

CBS, Halle Berry and the producers have decided to conclude the ‘Extant’ story after last season’s exciting and fitting conclusion,” said Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment. “’Extant’ played an important role in expanding CBS’s 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.”

The series, which wrapped its second season this September, from Amblin TV and CBS Television Studios revolved around astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) who is inexplicably pregnant when she returns home to her family after 13 months on a solo mission in outer space.

Season two took a big turn, which is most likely a cause for the series’ declining popularity this summer. Shifting from its original sci-fi nature to a more action-packed drama, the show also saw numerous casting changes, most notably replacing the male lead with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (pictured, above, with Berry). Aside from bringing on Morgan — who’s been cast in CBS’s “The Good Wife” for Season 7 — only three out of the freshman season’s seven lead actors where still involved with season two. Also many subplots from the first bow were dropped in the second go-around, which was helmed by new showrunners Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro, following original showrunner Greg Walker’s departure.

“I am so proud of what we accomplished on ‘Extant,’” said Berry. “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.”

At the time of its inception, “Extant” was put on the fast-track, landing a straight-to-series 13-episode order with exec producer Steven Spielberg behind the project, plus Berry’s star-power. The Oscar winner’s casting marked a major moment in the television landscape, as many A-list stars were beginning to sign onto series as regulars — and have continued to do so more and more today.

“Extant” was the lowest-rated of three CBS original dramas this season, averaging a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.35 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. In same-day numbers, it was down more than 30% year-over-year.

CBS does plan to remain in business with Berry, announcing Friday that it is developing a legal drama with the star. Titled “Legalese” and penned by “Good Wife’s” Steven Lichtman, the story centers on a biracial lawyer from Chicago who follows a case to New Orleans. There, she finds herself partnering with a good ol’ boy white attorney while working in a very particular justice system that will ultimately expose the biases we all harbor. Berry and Lichtman would exec producer along with 606 Films’ Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Dan Thomas. It hails from CBS Television Studios.

CBS also canceled the Stephen King-based “Under the Dome” after three seasons with the finale airing this September. New drama “Zoo,” which is based on the James Patterson novel of the same name, has been renewed for season two, after an impressive performance ranking as the top new scripted series of the summer.

Also on the slate for next summer is long-running reality show “Big Brother” and upcoming comic thriller “BrainDead” from “Good Wife” creators Robert and Michelle King.

Amazon recently acquired the rights to “Extant” and “BrainDead,” while “Under the Dome” was already streaming with the company. “Zoo’s” first season is available on Netflix.

Rick Kissell contributed to this report.

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