Will CBS ‘ Under the Dome Be Renewed? & Character Ads
That seems to be the twenty thousand dollar question right now. CBS ‘ summer Stephen King adaptation Under the Dome would not seem like such a big-name gamble if it were premiering on a cable channel. But, alas, it is premiering on CBS on June 24th. This particular summer series is a rather unique proposition. An expensive, sci-fi 13 episode series with multiple season aspirations produced by some of the biggest names in television like Steven Spielberg, Brian K Vaughan, Neil Baer, Jack Bender and others with some serious on-camera talent like Colin Ford, Mike Vogel, Dean Norris, Rachelle Lefevre, Britt Robertson and so many others being released during what is typically known as “no man’s land” in broadcast television scheduling? Based on a story that takes place in ten days the hoi polloi typically confuse with The Simpsons Movie and the Gone book series? From an author more known for his many, many television mini-series adaptations? With a pilot directed by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo helmer Niels Arden Oplev? A sci-fi series getting sold to 200 international territories before it even premieres? One that gets a first-of-its-kind streaming deal from amazon.com that will premiere each episode on the Friday after it airs on Monday? And it’s premiering in the USA on the same network that typically cancels its hit franchise series like CSI: Miami and CSI: NY without notice while they are averaging over ten million viewers each week?! Sure, why not?!
On paper, nothing about CBS ‘ Under the Dome should work. And, yet, everything seems to be in place for a game-changing mega television event series. It’s got the automatic critical acclaim (based solely on the 1×01 Pilot episode) usually reserved for shows on AMC and HBO that typically give CBS shows the bums rush. It’s also got the attention of every discerning television viewer more accustomed to watching cable shows like Weeds, Breaking Bad, and True Blood. Under the Dome really does have what it takes to show the world that broadcast television can be viable in the summer just as it is in the fall. But the question remains, will it get renewed as the producers and stars are hoping? CBS sure thinks it will.
They may be smug and shrewd as the coldest of reptiles, but CBS knows a hit when it sees one. They are even talking about a “winter cycle” in addition to additional summer seasons. This could be the future and I am liking everything I am reading about it. Let us just hope that the summer ratings are satisfactory enough to make it happen. Will it get ten million viewers on the overnight Nielsen ratings right off the bat? Will they pay more attention to the amazon.com streaming numbers? Not sure. I guess if CBS’ Blue Bloods can pull it off, why can’t they? I am sure the CBS ratings in the summer have lower expectations than fall and the ad revenue is not as generous (which explains why amazon.com is mostly footing the over $3 million an episode series). But, don’t take my word for it, read Lynn Elber’s article in The Huffington Post for confirmation of this confidence. You can read it here.
Read an Excerpt of The Huffington Post Article on CBS Thinking it Has a Game-Changing Hit on Its Hands with Stephen King’s Under the Dome!
The 13-episode drama series debuting Monday is based on the best-selling Stephen King book and includes heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Neal Baer (“ER,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Jack Bender (“Lost”) and comic-book and TV scribe Brian K. Vaughan as executive producers.
Such firepower counts in this increasingly competitive season, said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. It’s even more crucial because CBS is rolling the dice with a drama, atypical first-run network fare in June.
“There is a lot of original content on-air during the summer, and there will be choices for viewers. Especially for us, for broadcast, we’re looking for big-marquee auspices” such as those provided by King, Spielberg and their collaborators, Tassler said.
It’s a smart move, said one industry analyst.
“It’s about time networks put on these types of shows. Cable networks have been exploiting” broadcasting’s seasonal weakness, said Brad Adgate of Horizon Media. “Putting on a high-profile series like this in summer is worth the gamble.”
Tassler considers “Under the Dome” a safe bet, calling it the kind of escapist fare that “seemed to us to fit nicely as summer programming.”
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