CBS Orders Full Season of Spielberg Produced Futuristic Thriller 'Extant'

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Steven Spielberg's next directorial effort – the sci-fi epic Robopocalypse (based on the novel by Daniel H. Wilson) – may be on hold for now, but the legendary filmmaker has certainly been keeping himself busy with other projects in the meantime.

As producer, Spielberg has a number of other films in the pipeline, including such highly anticipated projects as Transformers 4, Jurassic Park 4 and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. However, in addition to his big-screen efforts, he has also been devoting time to getting television series like Under the Dome and Falling Skies on the air. Now, it seems, that another Spielberg-produced series is on its way.

CBS has placed a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of a futuristic thriller entitled Extant, produced by Spielberg's Amblin Television and CBS Television Studios. The series, set to air in summer 2014, will follow an astronaut as she aims to reconnect with her family after spending a year in space.

Extant marks the second Spielberg series that CBS has picked up, following the successful launch of Under the Dome this summer. That series, it should be noted, was initially marketed as a one-season miniseries before receiving high ratings and a second season order. Here's what Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, said about the new series:

"Extant is a very original concept with layers of humanity, mystery and surprise that reveal itself throughout the script. Our partnership with Amblin for Under the Dome showed that viewers respond to high-quality event programming in the summer.  We look forward to building on that with Extant and offering CBS audiences another high-concept, unique event for summer television."

The decision to pick up the show for a full season, rather than simply ordering a pilot outright (as is usual the process in television), is a bold one. CBS is likely betting on Spielberg's name to help sell the series to new viewers, a fair bet considering the filmmaker's marquee status. However, his involvement is far from a guarantee that fans will stick with a new series.

While Under the Dome and Falling Skies have managed to find audiences, ill-fated series like Smash and Terra Nova were also Spielberg productions, and neither lasted more than two seasons. That being said, Extant could very well prove a hit for CBS if good writers and a solid cast are involved. It certainly doesn't hurt that Spielberg himself has more than a little experience dealing with futuristic storytelling in films like Minority Report and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

Do you think Extant will be the "next big thing" when it hits CBS next summer, or would you prefer for Spielberg to put his influence behind other projects? Let us know in the comments section below.


Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Extant as its summer 2014 premiere draws closer.

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