The CBS "astronaut with a robot son gives birth to an alien" show Extant is getting a major shakeup for its second season, following in the footsteps of HBO's The Leftovers. Two characters are gone, and two major characters are only appearing at the start of the season, and then vanishing. Spoilers ahead...
According to Deadline, the only returning regular characters besides Molly (Halle Berry) are her android son (Pierre Gagnon) and the Humanichs Project's Julie (Grace Gummer.) Gone are Molly's husband (Goran Visnjic) and her friend Sam (Camryn Mannheim) — although both of these characters will appear at the start of the season. Also gone, without even a return appearance, are Yasumoto (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Alan (Michael O'Neill).
At least a couple new characters will be introduced, to replace the bulk of the season-one supporting cast.
Of course, these creative changes are not being attributed to a need to retool the show, whose first season finale was pushed out of a primo fall premiere week timeslot in favor of more Big Brother. Instead, the retooling of the show's cast is attributed to the different storyline for season two, which focuses on "Molly's efforts to track down her alien son who is threatening the human race." You know how it is — you're busy tracking down your alien son who's threatening the human race, and you just don't have time to catch up with your best friend or your husband. It happens to all of us. [Deadline]