Stephen King’s ‘Under The Dome’ To Become A TV Show

Remember the good old days of American TV when melodramatic grocery store novels were turned into super long miniseries? Roots! North and South! Alex Haley’s Queen (or: More Roots!) More North and South! Miniseries used to be great excuses for networks to pack their broadcasts with actors who were probably too big to show up on, like, Murphy Brown but were definitely too unkown to be in big-budget Hollywood movies. There was also a lot of sex involved on screen. That’s always fun! Nowadays, books are still being adapted for television, but now they’re becoming actual series with multiple seasons. Naturally, the king of the TV miniseries is back: Stephen King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome has been picked up by CBS to be a 13-episode series.

The novel, a whopping 1000-page tale of the residents of a small New England town (of course) suddenly finding themsevles trapped under a large transparent dome, will air this summer. But, of course, the book is getting the Game of Thrones / Walking Dead / True Blood / Sex and the City treatment, as the folks involved in the production of the show are not limiting themselves to a year’s worth of TV. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will be an "event" that its producers hope will turn into a full-fledged series: 

The series version was originally developed at Showtime. But in an unusual move, the ambitious project jumped from a cable network’s slate to the major broadcaster (more on that below). It’s also a rather unique title for CBS, since the network has been traditionally more wary about betting on serialized dramas than its rivals. But with AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution, apocalyptic serialized dramas have been delivering large numbers lately.

Fans of the novel shouldn’t expect an exact retelling of the same story. Last we heard, writer Brian K. Vaughan’s (Lost) script for Dome was wisely using the novel’s setup as a launch pad for its own TV-format-friendly version of the story and might even lay the groundwork for a different outcome than the novel’s ending. Also, the CBS version is definitely a series, not a mini-series, with a finale episode that will leave the story open for more seasons.

Ah, well. Gone are the days when taking a giant brick of a book like The Stand and turning it into a four-part, eight-hour movie for TV. Who says our attention spans have dwindled? Certainly not the people in charge of making television shows.

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The Corrections Gets Erased From The HBO Lineup

The decade-plus-long journey to bring Jonathan Franzen’s National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections to first the big, then the small screen, has once again hit a stall. Despite its impressive cast and credits, HBO has decided not to move the project forward following a viewing of the pilot, according to Michael Ausiello.

Ewan McGregor, Dianne Wiest, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper were among the stars of the miniseries, with Wiest and Cooper playing the roles of Enid and Alfred Lambert, respectively, the parents of Franzen’s Midwestern family who recount their history while spending their last Christmas together. Franzen and The Squid and the Whale’s Noah Baumbach, who also directed, wrote the adaptation for the screen.

The Corrections road to the screen had been an arduous one and one of many forms, beginning with Scott Rudin’s purchase of the adaptation rights in 2011. A number of big names were tied to the project in its various incarnations, including Stephen Daldry, David Hare, Judi Dench and Brad Pitt at various points.

Just this week, the network picked up two new shows, Lena Dunham’s heavily dissected dramedy Girls and the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy Veep, for second seasons.