Premium cable network Showtime’s Stephen King project “Under the Dome” has migrated to CBS – which owns Showtime.
It’s just like that series “The Tudors” – only the opposite. That one was developed at CBS, until they realized that while England’s King Henry VIII had eight wives – all to the good – “The Tudors” would be a heavily serialized crunchy-gravel drama series,and took a pass, and “The Tudors” migrated to Showtime.
The “Dome” development puts the all-things-procedural broadcast network in the odd position of giving a straight-to-series 13-episode order on a heavily serialized Stephen King sci-fi drama. CBS loves procedural dramas because they repeat so well, and take hiatuses so well, among other reasons.
On the other hand, CBS plans to run it in the summer and it 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,” CBS said.
Which we think is longhand for “reruns don’t matter.”
In Thursday’s announcement, CBS said it’s joining forces with Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Television, and with Simon & Schuster, for the summer 2012 TV “event” – but CBS owns Simon & Schuster (though it may not by the summer if merger talks with NewsCorp’s HarperCollins come to fruition).
“Under the Dome” is about a small New England town suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. The town’s inhabitants must deal the new conditions while trying to figure out what is the dome, from whence the dome came, and how to convince it to move. It was initially published in November of ’09.
CBS will start promoting the summer series right around the time of Simon & Schuster’s scheduled re-release of trade paperback and electronic editions from its Pocket Book imprint. Vertical integration — the best!