CBS is sending an adaptation of Stephen King’s potentially life-threateningly heavy, yet awesome “Under the Dome” straight to series for a 13-episode run in summer of 2013. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is producing along with CBS Television Studios. Brian K. Vaughan, writer “Y the Last Man,” and (everybody’s favorite current comic series) “Saga,” wrote the adaptation and will executive produce along with Neal Baer, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Stacey Snider, and King himself.
Niels Arden Oplev, director of the Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” film will direct the first episode.
“Under the Dome” is about a small Maine (natch) town that finds itself incased UNDER A DOME. It treads similar ground to King’s “The Stand” (his finest work), dealing with the nobleness and the ugliness and supernatural freakiness of humans stuck in a nasty situation. It’s a great read, especially if you’re a fan of King’s work. Here’s the full synopsis from the author’s site:
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. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens—town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a selectwoman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
“Under the Dome” was originally in production at Showtime, and I’m not sure why it made the jump to CBS, but that fact makes me feel slightly resigned. This big, hulking story would do great on the premium channel or even on FX, AMC or the like. Also, I’m not sure if the 13-episode season will encompase the entirety of the story or if we’ll get multiple seasons from the “Dome” tome.
If CBS, King, Spielberg and Vaughan play their cards right, they could end up with the ever so sought-after “next Lost” that networks have been trying and failing for since that series ended in 2010. It certainly helps that Vaughan worked on the aforementioned show…and King pretty much spiritually wrote the sucker as well.