Photo Credit: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
Halle Berry's new baby with husband Olivier Martinez isn't her only her only big news this week: The actress has also signed on to star in a CBS primetime drama, produced by Steven Spielberg, next summer.
In the series, titled Extant, she'll play an astronaut who returns from a year-long mission in space and struggles to get reacquainted with her husband and son. But this being a Spielberg production, Extant won't be a Parenthood-style TV drama about the work/home challenges women face. No, according to Deadline: "Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history." Intriguing.
If the 47-year-old Berry's pregnancy was slightly surprising, the news that she is headed to television is arguably even more so. The Oscar-winning actress, Bond girl, and X-Men super-heroine is moving to TV? The same woman who has a wax statue in her image? (Granted, it isn't all that Halle-like, as Jimmy Kimmel has pointed out.)
A move to TV might also seem unlikely considering she already turned down major roles in shows like Showtime's Homeland and CBS' Hostages. Plus, she's already won an Emmy -- for her role in the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. As Spielberg said in a statement, "there's only one Halle Berry, and we are incredibly honored that she has chosen Extant to expand her illustrious career."
On the other hand, Berry isn't breaking new ground here. She follows in the footsteps of some impressive A-list movie stars who have turned to television: Anna Paquin (True Blood), Dustin Hoffman (Luck), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Kathy Bates (Harry's Law, and now American Horror Story) and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) all won at least one Academy Award before accepting big gigs on the small screen. With Spielberg behind this project, and a major network agreeing to 13 episodes right from the start, Extant certainly is a high-caliber TV project.
Of cousre, here's what we expect is the real reason for the career move: Berry's baby will no doubt benefit from having mom close by!
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.