CBS Picks Up 13 Episodes of Drama Series 'Under the Dome' from Steven Spielberg & Stephen King

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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November 29th, 2012

CBS has ordered a 13 episode series based on King's novel Under the Dome, skipping the usual pilot development process. The show is slated to debut next summer, a departure from CBS's usual summer line-up of reruns and Big Brother. Neal Baer, whose credits include Law and Order: SVU and ER will be the showrunner. The premise involves one of King's typical small New England towns whose residents wake up one morning to discover that it hs been covered by a giant transparent dome that effectively imprisons everyone. Sounds Revolution-y. Of course, since this is CBS, each episode may involve a team of investigators solving a crime within the domed town.

Here's the press release:


Network Orders 13-Episode Series Based on Stephen King’s Best-Selling Novel

CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios Join Forces with

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Simon & Schuster For

Summer 2013 Television Event

STUDIO CITY, Calif. – CBS has given a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of UNDER THE DOME, a serialized drama from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name. The series will be broadcast in summer 2013.

UNDER THE DOME is the story of a small New England town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome.  The town’s inhabitants must deal with surviving the post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers to what this barrier is, where it came from and if and when it will go away.

CBS and Simon & Schuster will cross-promote the television series and book in advance of the show’s summer launch with the April 2013 re-release of trade paperback and electronic editions from its Pocket Books imprint. UNDER THE DOME was initially published by Simon & Schuster's Scribner imprint in November 2009, earning widespread critical acclaim and #1 best-seller status.

“This is a great novel coming to the television screen with outstanding auspices and in-season production values to create a summer programming event,” said Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment.  “We’re excited to transport audiences UNDER THE DOME and into the extraordinary world that Stephen King has imagined.”

In addition to the featured broadcast on CBS, UNDER THE DOME will have a unique programming model tailored for a summer launch with a multi-platform window available for each episode shortly after the network airing. The series will be distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and worldwide by CBS Studios International.

CBS Television Studios will produce the series in association Amblin Television.  Neal Baer, Stephen King, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Stacey Snider and Brian K. Vaughan, who wrote the television adaptation, will serve as executive producers. Acclaimed director Niels Arden Oplev will direct the first episode.

About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand – “the Eye” – one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, outdoor advertising, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’s businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group, CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Films and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to

About Amblin Television

With UNDER THE DOME, Amblin Television produces five series at five networks; this joins season #2 of “Smash” at NBC, season #3 of “Falling Skies” at TNT, season #1 of “The Americans” at FX, and season #3 of THE BORGIAS at Showtime.  Amblin is run by Co-Presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, who have been with DreamWorks/Amblin for 17 years.

  • SarahL

    LOL! I love the procedural snark, Sara. Sounds interesting though.

  • Steven Leitner

    How does this guy know it will be a crime show?

  • DSC

    read the book, it’s great. Thought this was going to be a movie, but, if they do this justice, it can be a great mini-series.

  • Jeff (Canada)

    Using a contained, smaller setting gives me hope for this show. I’ll be watching!

  • The Original J

    This is the worst possible network for this show to have landed at. It will look like crap (like all CBS shows do) and they’ll turn it into some generic, one-hour procedural.

  • jc

    It seems Sarah and Steven here are on two different planes … kudos to SarahL and those who recognize sarcasm! Though Steven also presumes Sara is “this guy”.

    More importantly, how will the dome affect the star’s ability to take off his sunglasses and make a witty quip as the title music plays a la CSI: Miami?

  • DeeAgeaux

    That is an episode of Stephen King’s Haven on Syfy.

  • Oliver

    This seems like a big departure for CBS. I think the networks are increasingly looking towards the cable model.

    I wonder if this is an international co-production?

  • karin

    So tired of Spielberg and CBS “drama”s..FF

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I cannot stand Steven King and almost nothing ever done on his stuff has interested me for five minutes. I’ll probably give this one a pass.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if it did turn into a procedural crime show. That appears to be the way Hollywood producers view science fiction these days, as Beauty and The Beast (this version is more sci-fi than fantasy as the original was) has demonstrated yet again. Apparently a real serial sci-fi simply can’t survive on broadcast networks, so it has to be turned into something else. Alphas started that way, but at least the quality was excellent and it turned more serial in season two – and it’s not on a broadcast network. Fringe started that way but became more serial as it went on – except the quality crashed around season 3.

  • RidersDX

    It sounds like the Simpsons movie! Too bad CBS will probably somehow center the show on tiresome cops.

  • Oliver

    I wonder if Fox will try and capitalise on this by airing The Simpsons Movie on the same week.

  • Dan

    CBS probably didn’t want Unforgettable to be the only summer drama with original episodes. It probably wont last past the summer but its better than reruns.

  • DSC

    What about OUAT?

  • Hubert R. Wentland

    I rarely say this, but it seems like CBS just picked up an interesting drama ;)

  • tv#1

    Wow! This actually sounds good. I can’t believe I am actually excited for a CBS drama. I hope this ends up being good, and if so I hope it does well.

  • K-Fed

    YES! I love this book! I swear I heard that Showtime was looking at picking it up, not CBS. Honestly, I’d much much much rather have it at Showtime (as they can do more, censorship wise, and it has a better chance of surviving). I just reaaaally hope that CBS doesn’t turn it into some procedural. I’m not a fan of that. And book is, obviously, not set up like a procedural at all.

  • Tom

    Insert standard “It’s The Simpsons Movie The Book The TV Series!” joke here.

    Businesswise, sounds like CBS was impressed with what Falling Skies could pull off on their budget.

    Contentwise, I’m kinda bummed it’s on CBS; FX or AMC would allow the proper levels of misery, though I am interested in seeing the end result.

  • Mi

    A summer series? I guess CBS are not so sold on the idea and won’t give it more than 13 episodes..

  • dryedmangoez

    I thought this had been in development at Syfy. I would have never guessed CBS would be where it ended up
    Interesting. Should probably put it after Big Bang repeats instead of Big Brother eps.

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