CBS has announced it will renew both Under the Dome and Extant for runs next summer. Under the Dome will be entering its third season and, though the numbers were down for this past summer, there was enough interest to get it picked up. Under the Dome created a new way for summer programing to generate revenue. A deal was struck with Amazon Prime that allowed for streaming only four days following the original broadcast airing. That along with international markets made Dome profitable even before it aired.
With the success of the partnership for Under the Dome, a similar arrangement was made for Extant. Extant will begin its sophomore season in summer 2015. The audience numbers were not as high for Extant as they were for the first season of Dome, but again, the deal with Amazon Prime made the number of viewers almost irrelevant. Word is that the studio was thrilled to have Halle Berry starring in Extant and felt there was more story to tell.
With the success of this business model, perhaps stations will be able to take chances with content that might not get the initial viewers but with streaming will be able to build an audience. It will be interesting to see how this may further change summer programming.
There isn’t information on how many episodes are being ordered, but the expectation is it will be the same thirteen episodes as this summer. The shorter series that works well in Europe seems to be a model that the US studios are picking up on. It allows enough time to tell a story and yet gives the actors more flexibility to do other projects.