When CBS first announced Extant, the show’s lofty premise and high-end cast seemed to indicate it would probably be a big winner for the Eye Network. Unfortunately, that hasn’t really been the case. After a reboot of the premise didn’t help the ratings during Season 2, CBS confirmed today that Extant has been cancelled. The show will not be getting a third season.
Extant earned favorable reviews early on, but had some problems with its narrative as Season 1 wore on. This prompted CBS to completely overhaul the scripted drama after renewing it last season, and led to Jeffrey Dean Morgan getting signed on for Season 2. While it didn’t help the ratings, reworking the premise also really didn’t hurt the ratings during Season 2. Still, underwhelming ratings may work for some networks, but not for CBS. Even having Halle Berry and Steven Spielberg on board isn’t enough to guarantee a renewal.
CBS will need to retool again for the summer of 2016. While long-running program Big Brother is definitely coming back and newcomer Zoo has also been renewed, CBS sci fi-oriented summer schedule is going to be missing a few key players next summer. A few months ago, Under the Dome was also given the heave-ho by the network station, and none too soon. With Extant also out of the lineup, there are several slots to fill.
Luckily, CBS has found other gigs for leads Halle Berry and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. THR reports that Berry is set to produce a legal drama for CBS called Legalease. If it moves forward, it will follow a biracial Chicago lawyer who goes to New Orleans to start a new job and a new life in the legal world. Her new partner will be a white good ‘ol boy, but together they’ll look at bias in the legal system. In addition, Morgan is also sticking with CBS, and has signed on with the network’s critically acclaimed drama The Good Wife for its seventh season. So, it’s bad news for Extant fans, but not the actors themselves.
Clearly, Extant had a fanbase that will miss the series, but it was never critically acclaimed enough or basely popular enough to last on the Eye Network over the long haul. If reworking the premise and signing on new actors wasn't enough to entice people, Extant was never going to be able to grow over the long haul. Better to sign-off now and get Berry on another project while she still has an overall deal with CBS. And giving Alicia Florrick another love interest on The Good Wife isn’t a bad fit for Morgan, either.
We’ll let you know if and when CBS signs on for some newer summer TV projects. In the meantime, here’s what’s still coming up this fall.