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

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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]