When I first saw the headline that advertised Halle Berry’s casting in CBS’s Extant, I thought I must have misread it. Halle Berry? Storm from the X-Men films? The Oscar winner? That can’t be right. Why would she want to commit to a TV series? Sure, I’m well aware of how tantalizing television has become to A-list actors, which is why we’re seeing the likes of Mark Strong on cable dramas. But for some reason I just couldn’t imagine Berry making the switch to TV. But you can’t fight the truth forever – Berry is indeed joining the cast of Extant. In fact, she’s the lead.
According to Deadline, Berry joined the series while also entering into a two-year, first-look production deal with CBS TV Studios, along with her producer partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. This marks Berry’s first regular television role in 25 years. And she picked one hell of a series to join! Extant, from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV and CBS Studios, received a 13-episode, straight to series order from CBS for next summer, and this was before Berry was even attached. That tells me this series must, at the very least, appear to be awesome on the surface level. Won’t know how deep that awesomeness goes until the first season plays out, but this is a good indication.
The series centers on an astronaut (Berry) who returns to Earth after a yearlong solo mission in space. She’ll attempt to reconnect with her husband and son, but her experiences in space and on Earth will change the course of human history. That brief description doesn’t really show me what caught Berry’s attention – many networks have tried to get her to do a series over the years, but all failed – so it must be something we aren’t privy too. I imagine Berry knows a little more about how her character will change the course of history and that’s what made her want to take this role.