Episodes of "Under the Dome," a highly anticipated CBS mini-series based on Stephen King's best-selling book will be made available on Amazon's Prime Instant Video service days after their debut on the network.
CBS ordered 13 episodes of the drama about a small town that wakes up one day to find itself under a mysterious dome that no can escape from. Amazon will be able to offer episodes for streaming four days after they appear on the network.
CBS is often very protective of its content when it comes to online distribution. However, given that "Under the Dome" is a summer mini-series, there is less of a downside to making episodes available on additional platforms beyond CBS. Also, Amazon will now help shoulder CBS's costs for the series.
"Under the Dome," which is produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, is a big bet by CBS that viewers, who traditionally vanish from June through August, will embrace a Stephen King series. Typically, summer fare on the broadcast networks is often just new reality shows. With fewer viewers around, networks are often gun shy about expensive programs which will require big ratings to lure top advertisers.
However, cable networks such as FX and USA have prospered with original programming during the months the broadcasters hang their gone-fishing sign. Now networks are starting to rethink the idea of original programming during the summer.
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