Halle Berry got a TV show (and a baby)
One of the early career prospectuses featured Halle Berry, and I maintained that her taste level in choosing projects is questionable at best—for someone who’s won an Oscar and is generally considered very talented, she makes a lot of bad movies. Maybe she’ll have better luck on TV? Deadline is reporting that Berry has signed on to star in Extant, a sci-fi show being produced by Steven Spielberg for CBS. It’s about an astronaut who returns home after a year in space and struggles to reconnect with her husband and son, except her trip into space has consequences for “human history”. So, aliens. Sounds promising, right?
It’s being fast-tracked by CBS, skipping pilot season and going straight to series with a 13-episode order for next summer. CBS followed a similar course with this summer’s Under the Dome, which, um sucked. Kind of a lot. And it’s the same order as the new Hostages, which full on blows chunks. So the reservations I have come mostly from CBS.
I appreciate that they’re one of the only networks taking a stab at adapting the shorter season cable model for their own use, but they’re not really interested in making the best television. The CBS modus operandi is making the broadest-appealing shows possible, and Under the Dome is a perfect example of what happens to an esoteric concept when you try to make it work for everyone. (Compare to Fox’s surprise hit Sleepy Hollow, which isn’t trying to appeal to anyone and is, in fact, totally batsh*t insane and yet is doing very well right out of the gate.)
But, for Halle Berry’s purposes, CBS goes a long way to accomplishing what I said she needed in her career prospectus. She needs to reestablish herself with the mainstream, to get away from her tabloid persona and just be an actress again, and a TV gig, even a short-season one, on a hugely popular network pretty well takes care of all of that. If the show is even a modest success Berry will get what she needs out of it.
Another thing that will really help? She just had her baby with Olivier Martinez. Berry’s recent tabloid life has been nothing but drama with her custody battle over her daughter Nahla, but now she has a chance to start the narrative over. I can already see the headlines: “Halle happy at last”, “Halle’s new family: What’s different and how love changed her”, and the inevitable, “New man, new baby, new show.” Synergy!
Attached – Berry on Friday, a day before giving birth.