CBS's upcoming sci-fi drama Extant is proving to be quite the mystery, in that the same vague description continues to circulate, which tells us that the story involves Halle Berry's astronaut character and some potentially world-changing events that could play out while she attempts to reconnect with her family after an extended trip in outer space. We haven't gotten many more specifics on the plot beyond that, but this latest bit of casting news, which includes the additions of E.R.'s Goran Visnjic and Zero Hour's Grace Gummer, offers a notable tidbit about the plot including something related to robot prototypes, one of which is named Ethan, who's the son of Berry's character Molly.
Before we get to that, here's the exact wording of CBS' description for the Steven Spielberg produced Extant:
EXTANT is a futuristic thriller about a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. Her experiences lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.
The fact that this description continues to circulate verbatim, added to CBS's mention of "layers of humanity, mystery and surprise" seems like a fair indication that the network, CBS Studios and Amblin Television are trying to keep specifics under wraps about this series, at least for now. But today TVLine shared word that Grace Gummer (sister to Mamie and daughter of the great Meryl Streep) has joined the cast. This news comes just a couple of days after TVLine reported that ER's Goran Visnjic was set to play Halle Berry's husband in the series. But what they didn't mention in that report, which was included in their Gummer news is that John (Visnjic) and Molly's (Berry) son Ethan is some kind of robot prototype. Here's TVLine's exact wording on Gummer's character:
"The Newsroom actress will play Julie, who — along with Goran Visnjic’s John — is behind the creation of robot prototypes like Ethan, the son of John and Molly (played by Halle Berry)."
The lead character having a robot prototype son certainly would factor into the futuristic side of this story, and it adds just a bit more information to the plot. Of course, it's only one piece to a still-vague but intriguing puzzle. CBS has already begun to tease the series with videos like this one…
…which emphasizes life or the opposite of extinction. And we know that the summer thriller will premiere Wednesday, July 2, and that it'll be made available on Amazon Prime each week a few days after each episode airs.
This latest bit of casting news adds to the appeal, as Gummer and Visnjic join Berry and the previously cast Camryn Manheim, who will play Sam Barton, Molly's friend and confidant.. Gummer's TV credits include appearances on Smash, the short-lived mystery drama Zero Hour and more recently, a run on The Newsroom. As for Visnjic, he's had roles on Red Widow and Pan Am, but he's probably best known for his part as the dreamy doc Luka Kovac on ER. It'll be great to see how they fit in on Extant, and hopefully additional casting will continue to give us some interesting tidbits about the plot.