Under the Dome (TV series)

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This article is about the American science fiction drama based on Stephen King's novel. For the documentary on air pollution in China, see Under the Dome (film).
Under the Dome
Under the Dome intertitle.jpg
Based on Under the Dome 
by Stephen King
Developed by Brian K. Vaughan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Randy Sutter
Editor(s) Timothy A. Good
Cinematography Cort Fey
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Picture format HDTV
Original release June 24, 2013 (2013-06-24) – September 10, 2015 (2015-09-10)
External links
Official website

Under the Dome is an American science-fiction drama television series.[1] It premiered on CBS on June 24, 2013, and concluded on September 10, 2015.[2] The series was developed by Brian K. Vaughan and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.[3][4] In the first season, Vaughan and King served as executive producers along with Neal Baer, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Jack Bender, Steven Spielberg, and Stacey Snider. Danish director Niels Arden Oplev produced and directed the pilot. Baer serves as the showrunner for the series.[5] Vaughan exited the series before the premiere of season two.[6]

On August 31, 2015, CBS cancelled Under the Dome after three seasons due to low ratings.[7]


Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town of Chester's Mill where a massive, transparent, seemingly indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. With no Internet access, no mobile signals and limited radio communication, the people trapped inside must find their own ways to survive with diminishing resources and rising tensions. While military forces, the government, and the media positioned outside of this surrounding barrier attempt to break it down, a small group of people inside attempt to figure out what the dome is, where it came from, and when (and if) it will go away.

Cast and characters[edit]

The cast members portray characters who were mostly taken from the original novel, "although some have been combined and others have changed jobs".[3][8]


  • Mike Vogel as Dale "Barbie" Barbara, an Iraq War veteran visiting Chester's Mill[9]
  • Rachelle Lefevre as Julia Shumway, an investigative reporter who becomes romantically involved with Barbie[9]
  • Natalie Martinez as Linda Esquivel, a loyal and ambitious deputy who is appointed sheriff by Big Jim (season 1–2)[9]
  • Britt Robertson as Angie McAlister, Joe's older sister who works as a waitress and volunteers as a candy striper with dreams of escaping Chester's Mill (season 1–2)[9]
  • Alexander Koch as James "Junior" Rennie, Big Jim's son and deputy sheriff[9]
  • Nicholas Strong as Phil Bushey, a popular radio DJ, then acting sheriff (season 1–2)[9]
  • Colin Ford as Joe McAlister, a teenager whose parents are outside of the dome; younger brother of Angie[9]
  • Jolene Purdy as Dodee Weaver, a radio engineer who makes contact with the outside world (regular season 1, guest season 2)[9]
  • Aisha Hinds as Carolyn Hill, a Los Angeles entertainment attorney, trapped in Chester's Mill (regular season 1, recurring season 2–3)[9]
  • Dean Norris as James "Big Jim" Rennie, a town councilman and used-car dealer[9]
  • Mackenzie Lintz as Eleanor "Norrie" Calvert-Hill, Alice's and Carolyn's daughter and Joe's love interest (recurring season 1, regular season 2–3)[9]
  • Eddie Cahill as Sam Verdreaux, a reclusive EMT, and brother-in-law of Big Jim (season 2–3)[10]
  • Karla Crome as Rebecca Pine, a high school science teacher who is studying the dome (season 2)[10]
  • Kylie Bunbury as Eva Sinclair, a young anthropologist who has mysteriously arrived in Chester's Mill, and also as Dawn, the daughter of Eva and Dale and the new queen of the Kinship (season 3)[11][12]


  • John Elvis as Ben Drake, Joe's best friend (season 1–3)
  • Dale Raoul as Andrea Grinell, a local widow of a hoarder; suspicious about the numerous propane trucks coming into town (season 1–2)
  • R. Keith Harris as Peter Shumway, Julia's husband (season 1–2)
  • Megan Ketch as Harriet Arnold, Julia's friend; gives birth after touching the dome (season 1–3)
  • Grace Victoria Cox as Melanie Cross, one of the original four hands who was killed in 1988; brought back to life by the dome (season 2–3)[10]
  • Brett Cullen as Don Barbara, the estranged father of Barbie; works for Aktaion Energy and is outside the dome (season 2–3)[13]
  • Max Ehrich as Hunter May, a computer hacker who works for Don Barbara; is inside the dome (after initially being outside) (season 2–3)[13]

Development and production[edit]

The project was first announced in November 2009, but it was not until two years later that Vaughan was hired to adapt the novel as a series, then set up at cable network Showtime.[17][18] Showtime entertainment president David Nevins felt that the series was not right for the network and suggested to Nina Tassler, his CBS counterpart, that she take on the project. Immediately interested, Tassler picked up the series and attached veteran television producer Neal Baer, who is under contract at CBS, to be the showrunner. It was announced in November 2012 that CBS had bypassed ordering a pilot and given Under the Dome a thirteen-episode straight-to-series commitment. "This is a great novel coming to the television screen with outstanding auspices and in-season production values to create a summer programming event," commented Tassler in the official CBS press release.[19]

A teaser trailer was created specially for the 2013 Super Bowl. Instead of showing footage, the teaser directed viewers to the show's official website, where they could enter their street address and postal code to view photos of what their homes and neighborhood would look like "under the dome".[20]

On July 29, 2013, the series was renewed for a 13-episode second season, which began on June 30, 2014, with Stephen King as the writer of the season premiere episode.[21] In August 2013 Vaughan became the series' executive producer and showrunner.[22] Vaughan left the show in 2014 before the premiere of season two. However, he had already planned out the season with Baer before his exit. Baer is the current showrunner.[6] Baer has stated that he knows what the ending of the show will be and that five seasons of thirteen episodes would be an ideal length.[23]


Filming for the series officially began in Southport and Wilmington, both in North Carolina, on February 28, 2013.[24][25][26] Additional filming took place in Burgaw.[27] It was confirmed on October 9, 2014 that even after extensive cuts to the state tax credits, filming would remain in the Wilmington area.[28]

Production on season 3 ended on August 7, 2015.[29] On August 10, 2015, CBS reported that the third season finale was written as a potential series finale, but did not confirm whether the series would end.[30] The finale was also written with the possibility of a comeback in mind.[31] CBS affiliate WRAL-TV reported August 10 that the sets used for the series had been torn down.[32][33] On August 25, 2015, it was reported that the show's props would be sold on August 27–29, 2015.[34][35]

CBS confirmed on August 31, 2015, that it would not order a fourth season.[36] According to Entertainment Weekly, the show was supposed to be "a limited series, then producers had to figure out how to keep the story going when CBS decided to order another round."[7]


Season Episodes Originally aired Avg. viewers
First aired Last aired
1 13 June 24, 2013 (2013-06-24) September 16, 2013 (2013-09-16) 11.19[37]
2 13 June 30, 2014 (2014-06-30) September 22, 2014 (2014-09-22) 7.17[38]
3 13 June 25, 2015 (2015-06-25) September 10, 2015 (2015-09-10) 4.70[39]


Critical reception[edit]

The pilot episode received positive reviews, and the initial episodes were generally well received. As of June 25, 2013, the pilot episode has a rating of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic – indicating "generally favorable reviews".[40] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 82 percent of 45 critics have given the first season a positive review. The site's consensus is, "Under the Dome is an effective and engrossing horror/mystery with airtight plotting and great special effects."[41] Reviews of the second season were more mixed, however, with 57 percent of critics giving the season a positive review. The site's consensus is "Though it reins in some of the first season's absurdity and shows potential for improvement, Under the Dome's second season still feels like a ride with no closure."[42]

On June 10, 2013, Under the Dome was one of the six series chosen for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series.[43] However, by August 13, eight episodes into the season, reviews of the show had declined sharply, with TV.com's Tim Surette calling it "mediocre TV"[44] and Geek Speak Magazine‍ '​s Rachel Hyland calling it "a silly, silly show" of "abiding awfulness."[45]

On June 27, 2013, King acknowledged that "the TV version of Under the Dome varies considerably from the book version", and called the series "very good" while commenting on some of those differences:[3]

[If] you look closely, you'll see that most of my characters are still there, although some have been combined and others have changed jobs. That's also true of the big stuff, like the supermarket riot, the reason for all that propane storage, and the book's thematic concerns with diminishing resources. Many of the changes wrought by Brian K. Vaughan and his team of writers have been of necessity, and I approved of them wholeheartedly. Some have been occasioned by their plan to keep the Dome in place over Chester's Mill for months instead of little more than a week, as is the case in the book. Other story modifications are slotting into place because the writers have completely re-imagined the source of the Dome.


The pilot established records for the highest rated CBS summer premiere since Big Brother‍ '​s 2000 season, the highest drama summer premiere on any network since 1992 and the second highest rated premiere of the 2012–13 United States network television schedule after The Following.[46] With DVR figures added, the series premiere was viewed by a total of 17.76 million viewers.[47]

The first season received an average viewership of 11.19 million live viewers.[37] The second season received an average viewership of 7.17 million live viewers[38] but DVR viewership vastly increased that. For example, the second season finale was watched by 7.52 million live viewers[48] but was watched by 11.27 million DVR viewers.[49]

Seasonal ratings[edit]

U.S. television ratings for Under the Dome
Season Time slot (EDT) No. of episodes Premiere Finale TV season Overall
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
18–49 Viewers
Monday 10 p.m.
June 24, 2013
September 16, 2013
12.10[51] 2012–13 2.7/8[37] 11.19[37]
2 13
June 30, 2014
September 22, 2014
7.52[48] 2013–14 1.6/5[38] 7.17[38]
Thursday 9 p.m. (premiere)
Thursday 10 p.m.
June 25, 2015
September 10, 2015
4.23[54] 2014–15 1.0/4[39] 4.70[39]
Under the Dome: Viewers per episode (millions)[a]

Season:     1 (2013)    2 (2014)    3 (2015)

Episodes Avg.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
S1 13.53 11.81 10.71 11.13 11.60 11.41 10.42 10.36 10.64 11.11 11.15 9.72 12.10 11.19
S2 9.41 7.70 7.64 6.74 6.57 6.83 6.90 7.30 6.60 6.29 6.62 7.04 7.52 7.17
S3 6.25 6.25 5.28 5.12 4.75 4.63 4.68 3.88 3.73 4.04 4.60 3.70 4.23 4.70
  1. ^ US viewers of the initial CBS airing.


The series was made available for streaming on Amazon Video devices four days after broadcast on CBS. The deal with Amazon helped CBS to mitigate the high production cost of nearly $3 million per episode.[55] In Canada, the series premiered on June 24, 2013, on Global Television Network.[56] In Australia, the series premiered on June 25, 2013, on Network Ten – just hours, calculating for time differences, after the U.S.,[57] and airs in repeat on TV H!TS since January 4, 2015.[58] The series premiered in the UK on August 19, 2013, on Channel 5.[59] The series premiered in Ireland on September 12, 2013, on RTÉ Two.[60]

DVD releases[edit]

Season Episodes DVD and Blu-ray release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 November 5, 2013[61] November 18, 2013[62] November 27, 2013[63]
2 13 December 9, 2014[64] December 29, 2014[65] December 3, 2014[66]
3 13 December 8, 2015[67] December 14, 2015[68] TBA


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External links[edit]