CBS has stirred up the summer ratings pool with an impressive 13.2 million viewership for the pilot episode of their new mini-series "Under the Dome." The show, adapted from Stephen King's book of the same name, centers around the tiny New England town of Chester's Mill that's trapped when an invisible force field lands over the community. Similar in some ways to ABC's "Lost," the series focuses on how the characters trapped under the dome react to being cut off from the modern world.
"It was really written from a place of anger," executive producer Neal Baer told NPR. "I think King was angry about the direction the country was taking, and how we were treating each other, and how we were treating the planet. Yet it never comes off as a screed."
Viewers checking out episode one of the 13-part series, were introduced to a variety of characters - the biggest of which was the dome itself and its very sudden appearance. For one cow, that moment turned out to be deadly - a departure from the book which originally featured a cute woodchuck.
"No cows were injured! This was not a real cow," Baer exclaims. Writer Brian K. Vaughan says he changed the animal cut in half because he was afraid viewers would be offended more by the woodchuck's death.
"That was one of my first tentative changes, and I asked Stephen King if it would be OK. I thought an adorable woodchuck getting split in half ... we'd lose our audience."
You can check out a trailer for "Dome" (Mondays, 10/9c) below and view the full pilot episode online here.