CBS Greenlights Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’

King and Steven Spielberg will team up next summer with a new TV series based on King’s novel.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Last year, Showtime announced that it was developing Stephen King’s  2009 novel, “Under the Dome” as a TV drama with “Lost” veteran Brian K. Vaughan attached to write the pilot episode. And then nothing happened for months.

Deadline is now reporting that “Under the Dome” has resurfaced at CBS, where it has landed a straight-to-series commitment for a 13 episode run scheduled to air in Summer 2013. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and CBS Studios will produce the series.

The premise for “Under the Dome” is that a small town in New England suddenly finds itself cut off from the rest of the world by an extremely large transparent dome. As the story unfolds, the townspeople are forced to adjust to the increasingly harsh conditions inside the dome as some individuals take advantage of the situation for their own gain. The mystery over who created the dome and when it will go away also loom as important questions to be answered.

Veteran TV producer Neal Baer is attached as the showrunner for “Under the Dome,” while The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev is slated to helm the pilot.

This programming move is CBS’ first major attempt at a scripted summer original show in years, as the broadcast networks have largely let the cable network original shows go unchallenged during that time of the year. “Under the Dome” is also a genre show; which is an area where CBS has not had much success with in recent years.

“Under the Dome” will be paired with “Unforgettable” next summer. And if CBS can successfully pull in good ratings for both shows, expect the other broadcast networks to take note and possibly make some summer programming moves of their own.