In Lukewarm Memoriam: CBS Cancels ‘Extant’

Extant, CBS’s pricey space/alien drama, died on Friday, October 9, 2015. It was two seasons old. Even though the promise of Halle Berry running around confused for an entire 13 episodes seemed like a great idea (what’s better than seeing a beloved Oscar-winner getting some hysterical cardio?), the show never fully formed an identity. Well, it formed one, and then scrapped it after the first season. It is survived by every CSI incarnation that ever was.

The idea of Extant must have seemed really great on paper. It had Steven Spielberg’s stamp on it, and Berry, an actress in dire need of a good role, landed the lead as an astronaut who may or may not have brought something back with her from her mission from space. This future promised us more than hover boards from Back to the Future II. It had android kids. It had sleek production design. It had Camryn Manheim in an actual speaking role. Camryn Manheim, people!

Oh, the plot? Um…well, it was a bit trickier. Berry’s Molly Sims couldn’t have a baby, but she found herself unexpectedly pregnant when she returned from orbit (thanks a lot, NuvaRing!). The space program, led by Michael O’Neill, was trying to cover up the conspiracy and thwarted Molly at every turn. Someone needs to cut O’Neill a break, by the way. First he shot up Seattle Grace, and then he was tasked from keeping Berry from learning the truth. He did so much mustache twirling that you thought he was trying out for Snidely Whiplash biopic.

The first season of Extant ended with an alien baby running amok (I sure hope the working title was Not Without My Alien Baby!), and her android son being used in an anti-robot uprising. Really. When the second season started, all that mattered was her husband, played by Goran Visnjic, was nowhere to be found. What happened to him? I can’t remember. What I do remember is that Berry had more chemistry with that carton of ice cream at the end of Monster’s Ball than she did with Visnjic. What was worse: the title of this series or the notion of spending another torturous 44 minutes watching them act their way through a marriage? It’s a toss up.

So, who survives this Extant demise? Berry will no doubt find a project, and Pierce Gagnon (who played her son) will easily find something else to fill his schedule. When it comes to outer space dramas, we should look no further than our local movie theater. Never fear, everyone! CBS does have some quality shows coming back soon. You know, like Zoo.

There will be no viewings for Extant, because, you know, no one watched it in the first place.

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