SPE, Inc./Eric Charbonneau; ulta.com
Break out your calendars 'cause you've got a date with Halle Berry this summer.
The Oscar winner's highly anticipated new serialized drama Extant finally has a premiere date as CBS announced that it will debut on Wednesday, July 2. The Steven Spielberg-led series centers on Berry's character as an astronaut who attempts to readjust to life on Earth after a year-long mission, from which she returns (spoiler alert!) pregnant! (And bonus: The series could return next summer as well if it does well!)
The network's president Nina Tassler dished on what's ahead for its shows at the 2014 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena on Wednesday morning, including How I Met Your Mother's swan song, major deaths on Under the Dome and more, like the premiere dates of Survivor and The Amazing Race.
How I Met Your Mother: Make sure you have tissues on hand for the MacLaren gang's last call on March 31.
"There's a lot of pride in this show and we've already started handing out the boxes of Kleenex for when that show goes off the air," Tassler said. "It really broke the form in terms of having a comedy that had a mythology that ran the entire length of the series. That's why we're excited to do the spinoff."
Tassler also told a story about Neil Patrick Harris fighting for the role of fan favorite womanizer Barney, who will go down as one of TV's most legend—wait for it—ary characters. "I was thinking back to when Neil Patrick Harris came in to audition for the pilot he was so passionate and so driven he had to come in twice to read," she recalls. "And was on paper nothing what Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas] had in mind. It's testament to the pilot process to have Neil come in and really win that role.
Under the Dome: Stock up on your supplies now because we're going back under the dome on Monday, June 30. Oh, and there will be two major deaths in the premiere. "No one is safe in this town," executive producer Brian K. Vaughan teased in a short video giving reporters a glimpse of the new season, which will dive into the mystery of what the dome is trying to protect the town from.
Plus, we'll meet several new characters, including Junior's uncle, "who's been hiding out for reasons we find out," and a new teacher who will teach the drama's kids "how to arm and keep Chester's Mill running" and will probably be a rival for Dean Norris' character, Big Jim.
Reality Returns: Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty will return with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., while The Amazing Race will kickoff its All-Star edition, with 11 returning fan favorite teams, on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.
Person of Interest: Fans were shocked by the surprise death of one of the series' main characters, Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) in the middle of the season. Tassler, however, learned of the big move last year.
"[Executive producer] Jonah Nolan came to us last year and said to us he was going to kill Carter. I almost killed myself. We talk about how things change, years ago, you would never, ever kill a major character," she spilled. "Jonah, to his credit, said, 'Look I love my cast. Taraji is an extraordinary actress, but the role that she played…has changed.' He said, 'I need my Catwoman…I need to bring Catwoman in.'" Of course, he was referring to the Shaw (Sarah Shahi), and Tassler said, "We all got very excited."
The Mentalist As for the mixed response to the show's big Red John reveal, Tassler said, "For as many fans that weren't happy, there as many fans that were happy. I think [Bruno Heller] did a really good job and I think when the viewers saw where the show is headed beyond that, the show still had its fanbase.The direction that they went it's a big change and the viewership is still doing really well."
(Originally published Jan. 15, 2014, at 10:07 a.m. PT)