News Briefs: Halle Berry Will Headline Steven Spielberg's Extant at CBS


INVASION OF THE MOVIE STARS

... Academy Award winner Halle Berry is making her way to TV! She'll play the lead in Steven Spielberg's Extant, about an astronaut (Berry) who returns to Earth after spending a year alone in space and tries to reconnect with her husband and child. Do you think there's an outer-space clause, like the SAMCRO guys have a prison clause? [CBS via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... Rob Lowe's time on Parks and Recreation may be coming to an end, but he's not leaving NBC. The network has awarded a production commitment to Lowe's new project The Pro, which he'll star in and produce. The Pro centers on a former tennis champion named “Big Ben” Bertrahm whose current career isn't so much winning championships as it is working as a pro at a tennis and golf club after some misguided investments and a career flame-out. [Deadline]

... David Letterman has extended his Late Show with David Letterman contract with CBS through 2015. Nothing I could say would be as good as what Dave said, so I'll let him take it from here: “Les [Moonves] and I had a lengthy discussion, and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground.” [CBS via press release]

... Brad Garrett has signed a deal with ABC to develop his upcoming autobiography, When the Balls Drop, into a half-hour comedy series. I cannot apologize enough for the image that just popped into your head. [THR]

... Fox has ordered additional scripts for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's not a full-season pickup, but it's definitely a good sign for the Andy Samberg-led comedy. [TV Line]

... Hallmark Channel has given a 10-episode order to Signed, Sealed, Delivered ahead of the October 12 original movie that was filmed as a backdoor pilot. Headed by Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty), the series follows a small staff at the Dead Letter Office that works to make sure every lost piece of mail is delivered to its owner at just the right time. [Deadline]

... Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks has written poetry about the various characters of Game of Thrones (who wants to bet the Jon Snow poem is super dirty?). She claims the series also helped her get through a recent bout of depression, which makes me wonder just how much of it she's watched. Should we warn her about "The Rains of Castamere"? [Vanity Fair]

... Chris Hansen's predator-catching days are behind him, but there may be some syndicated talk show-hosting in his future. Hansen shot a pilot for a chat show that unsurprisingly has a true crime focus. [TV Guide]

... ABC is working with Sofia Vergara on a project called Raising Mom. The show would explore the life of a young, single mother and her 21-year-old son. It was inspired by Vergara's own life experience. [Deadline]

... Diablo Cody is teaming up with Josh Schwartz's Fake Empire production company for Fox's Prodigy. The network has given the potential series—about a 16-year-old home-schooled genius who I guess was inspired by Mean Girls to enroll at her local high school—a script-plus-penalty commitment. [THR]

... Fox's midseason comedy Us & Them, which is an adaptation of the U.K.'s Gavin and Stacey, has halted production. The series was scheduled to take a hiatus in two weeks, but Fox moved up the date. Word on the street is that the network doesn't really like the tone of the series. And having seen the pilot, I can tell you that's not unfounded. Yikes. [Deadline]


CASTING NEWS

... Kim Raver has officially signed on to reprise her role as Audrey Raines in Fox's 24: Live Another Day miniseries. But she's not alone! William Devane will also be returning as James Heller. [TV Guide]

... Topher Grace and Sarah Silverman are set to play siblings in HBO's new half-hour comedy pilot People of New Jersey. It's being produced by Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, it's being directed by Bridesmaids' Paul Feig, and it co-stars Broadway legend Patti LuPone. I'm already intrigued because of the names attached, but here's some more info in case you need to know more: Grace plays Carl, a locksmith who resists when the world doesn't conform to his wishes, Silverman plays Melanie, an optimist who works part-time at a department store, and LuPone plays their widowed mother Rachel, who naturally spends all her time worrying about why her children are single. [TV Line]

... Peter Fonda has joined the cast of Lifetime's drama pilot HR , about an uptight HR exec named Ellen Bell (Alicia Silverstone) who changes her outlook on life after suffering a head injury. Fonda will play Jonathan Quaff, one of the founders of the company. If it makes it to series, he'd recur. [THR]

... John Oliver is heading to Springfield. He'll lend his voice to The Simpsons this season as Wilkes John Booth, a heretofore unseen neighbor who Marge has never metThe episode will air during May sweeps. [TV Line]

... Jason Priestley is visiting... Hot in Cleveland? He's joining the show as Corey Chambers, a handsome movie star who Valerie Bertinelli's Melanie has had a crush on in high school. If you're thinking the math does not add up, you are correct: Priestley is 44 and Bertinelli is 53. Makes you go, "Hmmm." [EW]

... Dennis Haysbert (24, all those Allstate commercials) has signed on to guest-star in an upcoming episode of Trophy Wife. He'll appear in Episode 9 as Russ Bradley Morrison, who chaperones a school field trip with Malin Akerman's Kate. [TV Line]


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Sarah Silverman playing an optimist? Not sure how that'll work.
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as long as silverman doesn't write her own material people of new jersey has potential based on cast alone. I was all excited about halle berry being on tv, 'cause eye candy, until you shared the premise of the show. bleh.
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Another TV show produced by Spielberg? No, thank you, I'll pass on that. Falling Skies, Under the Dome, Terra Nova - this short list speaks for itself.
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The crush thing could work if he was a Justin Bieber Type, but then she'd just look like a loser.
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Who is going to go on the Chris Hansen show after knowing his lengthy career? Every guest will be expecting an ambush. "Come in, why don't you have a seat over here." "I didn't do nothing, I was just in the area and saw the studio door open."

Not surprised Us & Them got its hiatus papers, the initial marketing for it looked pretty poor.

I can't imagine Topher Grace and Sarah Silverman playing siblings, but I like them both quite a bit as comedic actors so I'm in... trouble because it's HBO which I don't have. Motherfrakker!

Oh no, not another 'stuck up exec has a change of ways from an injury' show! Nobody is going to believe Alicia Silverstone playing a former bitch.

British people on The Simpsons always sound a little fake thanks to Hank Azaria and Dan Castellaneta doing the majority of foreign characters on the show.
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if priestly was 9 years older than bertinelli nobody would even notice, let alone comment
on it. way to uphold the double standard!
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Yeah that's not why it's weird. The math just doesn't add up. Granted actors rarely play characters their same age but if you assume they're playing around the same age they are now, when her character was in high school, his character would have been 5-8 years old. That's why it's commented on.
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You're right on the money Kaitlin. Maybe they'll be adding age makeup to Priestly, but since Bertinelli's character isn't being played younger than the actress' age, it's entirely backwards.

And it'd still be creepy if it was reversed - if 15-year-old high school Jason Priestly's character had a crush on 9-year-old Bertinelli, that'd be just as bad. There's no math that makes this work.
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I really thought that Letterman was going to retire this time...
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Louis CK called it.
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The fact that 24 is going to raise from the dead amazes me... Why won't people give it a rest? Weren't 8 seasons of the same double-agent shit enough? CTU was probably the most insecure place to work in the world!
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I think it was 2 seasons was enough for me, never watched past that.
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You haven't missed out on anything, really. It was pretty much the same plot over and over. I think I watched the first 2 then I skipped a few and watched the 6th and 8th. 24 episodes x 8 seasons = too much repetition. Series should be definitely shorter and have fewer episodes.
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The premise of Extant doesn't exactly grab me...and Spielberg's tv series usually end up being long winded and boring. Halle Berry in the cast just makes it less likely that I would watch as I can't stand her.

Interesting that Topher Grace is returning to TV comedy. I guess his movie career since That 70s Show hasn't really worked out. He certainly hasn't found that same level of success as Joseph Gordon Levitt (who also started out on TV ).
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Steven Spielberg and television are not always a good combination.
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Why whatever do you mean? ;-) You mean like "Lucky 7", canceled after 2 episodes? Or "Under the Dome", which has been laughed at for falling apart midway through its first season? Or ABC's "The River" which is a silly mess? Or NBC's "Smash" which went off the rails in its second season? Fox's "Terra Nova" which should be obvious? Hell, if it weren't for The CW's holdout, he'd have a terrible show on every broadcast network in the last 5 years.
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You should watch his miniseries Taken, that made it a great combination!
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He had some winners, I don't deny it, but he's had a lot of stinkers.
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Extant sounds like it could be interesting, although Halle Berry as the lead doesn't make me anymore inclined to see it.

Glad more scripts have been ordered for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I'm enjoying it quite a lot, and it's the first freshman comedy series I've ever being convinced to watch from the very beginning.

I'm interested in seeing where People of New Jersey goes (except for the setting), because like you Kaitlin, the casting is intriguing.
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Oh nooo, I want Us & Them to be good. Alexis Bledel and Jason Ritter, COME ON!!! Fingers crossed for that one.
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"Wilkes John Booth"? That's gotta be from the "a character dies" episode.
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B99 was boring and did not impress me. It did not help that FOX gave away all the jokes with their ads. I am giving it one or two more chances to interest me.

Don't forget Haysbert as Dr. Morris on Now and Again. That was a cool role for him.

Was a review of the Us & Them pilot posted? If not, will it be?
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It was not. Since it's a midseason show, it won't be reviewed until it premieres.
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I liked Haysbert's role on The Unit
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Now and Again was such a good show with such a great cast. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who remembers it fondly.
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At least they ended it in a way that leaves you both satisfied, letting your imagination wonder what becomes of them, and sort of wanting more at the same time.

Everytime time I see Eric Close now, I like to amusingly think he still has John Goodman's brain in him.
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And Diablo Cody tricks another person into thinking she's a good writer. I can write better stories in my sleep. Wake up people, Juno sucked.
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Well...United States of Tara did not suck..so there's that.
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Prove you can do better. Let's see the screenplay paychecks.
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I'm so glad I'm not alone. Most boring dialogue ever: the characters sounded like "Ooh, look at how cool and smart we are!"
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Juno ruled.
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Juno sucked. We'll see how she does in Beyond Two Souls.
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I apologize for the obvious Brain Damage you've suffered.
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Stop being so obnoxious
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The halt in production for Us & Them is good news for both Surviving Jack and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as it is now shown that Fox will first use Surviving Jack to replace Dads when they decide to cancel it. It's good news for BNN because that means it will likely go all season.
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Uhm they're making a show about mail? Also, I love Alexis Bledel and I'll watch whatever she makes! YOU GO, RORY GILMORE!
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That Hot in Cleveland thing is creeping me out.
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I like Halle Berry, but we all know his track record with tv shows isn't the best, like 2 out of a billion survived right? Lol
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