CBS Orders Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’; Hires ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Director for Pilot

Published 2 years ago by

under the dome cbs CBS Orders Stephen Kings Under the Dome; Hires Dragon Tattoo Director for Pilot

A television adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Under the Dome has been gestating for years, and initially the project from producer Steven Spielberg and writer Brian K. Vaughan was set up at Showtime, but that’s no longer the case.

Spielberg and his Amblin Television banner felt the project was not moving forward at Showtime, and now Under the Dome will be adapted at CBS, who has decided to bypass the creation of a pilot in favor of a 13-episode series order.

For those who aren’t familiar with the bestselling 2009 novel, here’s the official synopsis from Stephen King’s website

“On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Dale Barbara, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens – the town newspaper owner, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing to hold on to the reins of power, and his son. Because time isn’t just short… It’s running out.”

Deadline reports that Spielberg and Vaughan (who has written comic books like Y: The Last Man and TV series like Lost) are still in place for Under the Dome, which aims to debut next summer, but it won’t be exactly what fans remember from the novel. When adapting the book, Vaughan kept the basic story and many of the main characters (with some tweaked details and backstories), but there will also be some new characters who will serve as series regulars. However, fans should know that King has approved all of these changes.

But one element that fans might be curious about is the ending. We won’t spoil it here, but the novel does give Under the Dome a somewhat limited timeline – one that could easily be completed in 13 hour-long episodes. However, Deadline says CBS isn’t going to use the book’s ending, because they want another season of the series if it’s successful.

niels arden oplev overhead CBS Orders Stephen Kings Under the Dome; Hires Dragon Tattoo Director for Pilot

Niels Arden Oplev is directing the first episode of Under the Dome

The move to CBS isn’t really a loss for Showtime since it was the cable network’s president, David Nevins, who recommended it to their primetime sister network. However, we hope the jump from cable to network television doesn’t dilute the quality and drama of the series. CBS is also keeping things in the family on the directing side of things, as they’ve set up Niels Arden Oplev, director of the original adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the network’s Unfortgettable pilot, to helm the first episode of Under the Dome.

There’s quite an awesome assembly of talent behind this series adaptation of King’s novel, and each name involved has plenty of TV success. Spielberg produced Falling Skies for TNT, and King’s novel The Colorado Kid served as the inspiration for the SyFy series Haven, which was just renewed for a fourth season last month. Finally, Vaughan served as a writer, story editor and producer on Lost, and we haven’t seen a series replicate the success and popularity of that ABC sci-fi drama yet.

Under the Dome is expected to debut on CBS in the summer of 2013. Stay tuned for more updates.


Source: Deadline

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  1. simpsons already did it.

    • yea and Stephen king 1st wrote this book in late 80s and stopped.picked up the project again which im sure still was before simpson movie

  2. Oh so they want to ruin the book by procrastinating it? The science King brilliantly uses in the book makes a finite timeline absolutely necessary. However I would change the ending for tv but not for the reasons they say. I wont spoil anything but the explanation for the Dome is pretty retarded.

  3. I remember seeing commercials(for a book?) of under the dome and thinking how silly.

  4. This is one of my favorite King books. “CBS isn’t going to use the book’s ending, because they want another season of the series if it’s successful.”

    Why the hell can´t they just adapt something properly?

  5. ok lookie, ANOTHER TV show based around some BIG central mystery. I’m really getting bored of this approach.

    • Well said!

      • This is not where I put my reply

  6. *spoilers*
    So they’ll probably save the methlab explosion for the season finale, then reveal the leatherheads in the season 2 finale, then just drag it limping along for a third season.

    • Hopefully not. The explosion needs to be at the exact same point as in the book. Otherwise they´d mess up the pace.

      • my man they should but they will not. I was excited about this at first but now I see its about ratings. this should have been a movie teamed with speilberg and king only.

    • From what I’ve been hearing they’ve already changed so much and are willing to change a whole lot more for the ratings and money. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any specific timeline.
      I was so excited when I first saw an add for this. Now all my hopes have been smashed :(

  7. The book wasn’t anything really special. Plus, as someone already posted here, The Simpsons Movie came out well before King’s book and Springfield was placed under a clear, solid Dome. As for CBS… They’ll surely ruin the storyline from the book to suit their broadcast needs. Instead of Season after Season as they hope, a mini-series of 13 episodes total with the story’s conclusion at the end would work better for a viewing, if even remotely interested public. Doesn’t matter to me as I won’t be excited to watch any of it because I found the book pretty lame (thanks to the Simpsons Movie predating the release of King’s take on a town being cut off by a Dome). The only winner in all of this? King being paid by CBS.

    • don’t deprive yourself of the joy of one of the best books writtin.he 1st wrote it in late 80s.(read back of your book). So in a sense he wrote this before simpsons ever hit television

  8. I absolutely love that book, (one of King’s best IMO), but I do not like the sound of these changes.

    • Seriously the book was so stretched out, i remember reading reviews about how it could have been easily cut in half. Maybe King is is getting old or his ghost writers could not come up with enough decent filler material, but seriously i don’t know how they are going to stretch this to 13 episodes never mind to a possible 26. There is basically very little story, the dome appears and …. Then …. and …. damn i could almost write the full story in three sentences, the majority of the book is about developing the characters and no story.No wonder King agreed to them changing it , i think he would have been embarrassed if they had not.

  9. So…. lets see we either watch it possibly extending it screwing the original story or we dont watch it, it flops and we start to not see original/book stuff again.

    What a double edged sword. What makes (most) books/stories so good are the beginning, middle and END!

  10. I have to say, the talent on this project is exceptional, and even though the book – like most of King’s more recent work – was pretty lackluster, Vaughn/Spielberg/Oplev are standout talents.

  11. Keep the explosion!! Change is ok as long as its not to much. To change the explosion is ridicules!! Its sad but it also makes the story even better. Under The Dome is my favorite Stephen King novel. After reading it I wished they would make a mini-series out of it. Hearing about them changing the ending upsets me. Makes it to where I dont even want to watch it(if they do take out the explosion)-KEEP THE EXPLOSION!!!!!

  12. Awesome news for a thirteen episode adaptation of Stephen King’s “Under the Dome”! Now to find out when CBS plans to begin its episodes.

  13. I’m all for wanting to change the ending, it worked brilliantly with The Mist, but why ruin the whole series. What it if doesn’t get the second season these money-hungry big shots want? Then everyone who was actually enjoying the show gets screwed out of half the story. Not cool.

  14. wow…look at all the pretty Colorado..

  15. I think it was a great portrail of a small town that is isolated from outside influence, and what can happen when you let power consume a person! I can’t see this being a huge success, but don’t take it out on the book! It was a phenomenal read and I think it should be held with higher praise!

  16. You Stephen King fans out there: “Under The Dome” Spoiler Alert! Don’t expect the excellent translation to the small screen like they did with “The Stand” or even “Salem’s Lot”. Hollywood took this masterwork of Mr. King’s (his best next to “The Stand” and shoved it through the shredder. Then they patched up all of the holes with new characters and added a completely altered story-line. They basically just kept the title. Why did they scew up perfection? SKIP THE TV!!! READ THE BOOK!

  17. To learn that the Dome is for their protection confuses me, considering they are trapped with big Jim. The only two good things that happended in the finale were the kids releasing the butterfly; and Julia dropping the egg into the lake to protect it, thus bringing a beautiful, brilliant white light into the Dome. It was said in the next season there would be more deaths. We already know the first show will have a hanging, unless the Dome stops it. Then who – Julia, the sheriff? Don’t read the book, it’s bad. But I do wonder the reason why the Dome needs to be there. And why big Jim also wants it to stay. Hate to think that the worst guy there, could also be right.

  18. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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  20. I LOVE under the dome but why did angie have to die?!