THR is reporting that CBS has ordered up 13 episodes for Under the Dome from Stephen King and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, based on the King novel by the same name. The scripted series with a sci-fi twist will run in summer 2013 along with the sophomore series Unforgettable, and marks the first colaboration between King and Spielberg.
Typically networks order a pilot for a new series and then determine whether to order additional episodes depending on how the pilot turns out. With Under the Dome, CBS is bypassing the pilot and consideration phase altogether and jumping in based solely off the strength of King's novel.
Under the Dome was released in 2009 and became a best-seller. Showtime, which falls under the same corporate umbrella as CBS, announced development of the project in summer 2011 as a miniseries, but it has now moved to CBS instead. It is unclear how far along in development Showtime got before the project switched hands.
Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Lost) wrote the small-screen adaptation, and Niels Arden Oplev (Unforgettable) is set to direct the first episode.
In Under the Dome, a small Maine town has a mysterious dome literally appear over it that will not let anyone or anything in or out. As those trapped under the dome struggle to determine why it appeared and if/when it will disappear, the mystery behind the dome is slowly revealed and the dangers of its existence become a matter of life and death.
Casting the residents that will be caught Under the Dome should get underway shortly, if the process hasn't already begun.