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On the Set: Inside the New CBS Thriller Under the Dome
Photo Credit: TV Guide

On the Set: Inside the New CBS Thriller Under the Dome

Jun 18 2013, 6:22am CDT | by

Chester's Mill: A nice place to visit. A terrible place to be trapped beneath an invisible force field. Yet CBS is hoping for a captive audience when the network unveils its ambitious adaptation of...

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1 year ago

On the Set: Inside the New CBS Thriller Under the Dome

Jun 18 2013, 6:22am CDT | by

Chester's Mill: A nice place to visit. A terrible place to be trapped beneath an invisible force field.

Yet CBS is hoping for a captive audience when the network unveils its ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's novel about a quaint Maine town with a big problem. Not that the 13-week "TV event," as it's being hyped, is much of a risk. In addition to King's built-in appeal, Under the Dome — which was originally developed at Showtime — boasts a roster of heavy hitters behind the scenes, including Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, executive producers Neal Baer (Law & Order: SVU) and Jack Bender (Lost), and comic-book writer Brian K. Vaughan, who penned the series and previously worked with Bender on ABC's mystery-island hit.

"I was taking some time off, trying to find something I really wanted to do, and Brian called me," Bender says. "He sent me the script, and it was the first thing I'd read in a long time that I really loved. I had a similar reaction when I saw J.J. Abrams's brilliant Lost pilot."

Viewers may feel some déjà vu, too. Although there are no smoke monsters or sideways timelines, Dome does focus on a group of survivors — anchored by drifter Dale "Barbie" Barbara (Bates Motel's Mike Vogel), journalist Julia Shumway (Twilight's Rachelle Lefevre), frisky candy striper Angie McAlister (Secret Circle's Britt Robertson) and local councilman/megalomaniac Big Jim Rennie (Breaking Bad's Dean Norris) — who are cut off from the rest of mankind after a violent, life-altering experience. In this case, it's not a plane crash but the sudden appearance of an almost undetectable bubble over the town. And like the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815, Baer says, the folks of Chester's Mill "come together...in the beginning."

After the initial shock, however, "it becomes one of those situations where life as you know it can no longer continue," Lefevre says. "Changes must be made, and a lot of those shifts are internal. Battle lines get drawn." And bad things begin to happen. Teens start having seizures and babbling about "pink stars falling," the local radio team (Jolene Purdy and Nicholas Strong) picks up signals of unknown origin, military forces fail to breach the barrier and medical supplies slowly start to dwindle. This is dire news for a diabetic (Samantha Mathis) who is traveling through town with her partner (Aisha Hinds) and their rebellious daughter (Mackenzie Lintz) when the mysterious dome drops.

If that weren't enough, there's a secret surrounding Big Jim's stockpile of propane, and he has a killer Alexander Haig-ish plan to take charge of the terrified town. "He's such a fun character to play, because while the dome is a tragedy for everybody else, for him it's an opportunity," Norris says. "He does whatever he can, and if murder happens, it happens. He's got no problem with that being an issue." And before you can say, "Holy fascist state!" tough decisions are made to save what's left of the group's resources and sanity. "What do you do when you run out of fuel, or there are no doctors because they're all trapped outside? How do you start over?" Baer asks. "When things run amok, you've got to do something."

The producers faced a similar situation when wrangling King's sprawling opus. At more than a thousand pages, it overflowed with characters and storylines that have been tweaked, cut or entirely re-imagined for a tighter TV focus. Without spoiling anything for those who have not read the book, one of the story's most gruesome deaths has been turned into an equally harrowing kidnapping subplot for Robertson's Angie; Lefevre's reporter has been aged down from her mid-fifties; Hinds's and Mathis's roles were added; and the book's conclusion underwent a total rewrite. "A lot of people apparently weren't all that happy with how [the book] ended," explains Bender. "Brian and Neal have a different ending in mind, and [it has] Stephen King's blessing." In fact, the producers say that the master of horror is "100 percent" on board with the alterations. "He's been completely supportive. He's a big fan, and he has great ideas," Baer says. "It's been wonderful."

Sounds like this dark Dome is where his heart is.

Under the Dome premieres Monday, June 24 at 10/9c on CBS.

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Source: TV Guide

 
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6 days ago

Halle Berry Makes A Movie Star Appearance At The 2014 Emmy Awards

Aug 25 2014 10:10pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

Halle Berry brought her big screen elegance to television Monday night, Aug. 25, as a presenter for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards. The 48-year-old, who presented the award for Outstanding Drama Series, stunned in a gorgeous pink gown with a thigh-high slit. She accessorized with beautiful dangling earrings. Berry currently graces the small screen herself in Steven Spielberg's "Extant," which tells the story of astronaut Molly Woods (Berry), who r ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
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2 weeks ago

08/18/14: Xbox Entertainment Studios may live to see another day, Nielsen: Social media fosters more TV fans, Mike Birbiglia joins Orange is the New Black cast

Aug 18 2014 5:13am CDT | Source: Cynopsis Media

CYNOPSISDIGITAL 08.18.14 Good morning. It’s Monday, August 18, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS   Xbox Entertainment Studio may not shutter after all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Microsoft is in early talks with Warner Bros to acquire its TV arm. In July, Microsoft announced it would shut down the studio and lay off 18,000 employees within the year, but still finish its current projects, ...
Source: Cynopsis Media   Full article at: Cynopsis Media
 

 
Update
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2 weeks ago

5 Things You Didn't Know About Robin Williams

Aug 11 2014 9:55pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams lived an amazing life before his death at the age of 63. In the beginning of his career, Williams struggled as a street mime in front of New York’s Museum of Modern Art; by the end, he was the type of performer who could lift the spirits of a long-time friend in the hospital to our nation's troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait and everyone in between. Moreover, once Williams reached ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
Update
4

2 weeks ago

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Robin Williams

Aug 11 2014 9:55pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams lived an amazing life before his death at the age of 63. In the beginning of his career, Williams struggled as a street mime in front of New York’s Museum of Modern Art; by the end, he was the type of performer who could lift the spirits of a long-time friend in the hospital to our nation's troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait and everyone in between. Moreover, once William ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
Update
3

5 weeks ago

'Teen Wolf' Fans Can Barely Contain Their Excitement At Comic Con

Jul 25 2014 5:52am CDT | Source: Huffington Post

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fans squealed and screamed, and some shed tears at Thursday's Comic-Con panel for MTV's hit series "Teen Wolf." Before cast members like Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin and Holland Roden took questions from fans, executive producer Jeff Davis announced the show had been picked up for a 20-episode, fifth season. He also confirmed actor Dylan Sprayberry has been upped to a series regular. ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

'Extant' And 'The Strain': One Is Worth A Look (But Don't Forget 'Defiance' And 'Penny Dreadful')

Jul 9 2014 12:26pm CDT | Source: Huffington Post

"Extant" is a big-name, high-profile production that is solid and acceptable in a number of ways. The storytelling is briskly paced, Halle Berry is typically good in the lead role, and the "Extant" pilot contains several scenes set in space, a sight that is far too rare on TV. I can't recall the last time I saw a space-set scene on a CBS drama, but when Steven Spielberg says he wants to do a show about an astronaut and someone with Berry's stature deign ...
Source: Huffington Post   Full article at: Huffington Post
 

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

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