Deadline is reporting that CBS has picked up a 13-episode straight-to-series order for Stephen King’s 2009 novel, Under the Dome.
The series will be produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, and will air next summer, standing as the network’s biggest commitment to scripted material in the summer months, as the series joins the returning Unfortgettable on the slate. The novel centers on a small New England town sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous, transparent dome for no discernible reason. The inhabitants of the town must then find ways to manage their post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers about the mysterious dome, where it came from, and why.
Deadline is also reporting that the project’s scribe, Brian K. Vaughan (of Lost and graphic novels such as the hugely-successful Y: The Last Man) has maintained the book’s premise, as well as most of its character, although it’s changed elements of several characters’ back stories while also introducing new characters for the series. The book’s controversial ending will also be changed, a decision which met with King’s approval. Though the series is initially being presented as a thirteen-episode summer series, the network would reportedly find a way to continue the series into subsequent seasons if it proved successful.
“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 the president of CBS’ entertainment division.
With any luck, the project will anchor the network during the lean summer season. If nothing else, the premise is more than enough to elicit a few curious looky-loos on premiere night.
Full story, along with the project’s troubled history: Deadline