By Wayne Harada
“Under the Dome,” CBS’ top summer replacement hit, has been green-lighted for a second season return next year.
If you’ve been watching the drama, adapted from a Stephen King best-seller, you know it occupies the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) slot on Monday nights. It’s the former puka occupied by “Hawaii Five-0,” which has been shuffled to 8 p.m. (9 p.m.) Fridays, where it will be anchored this fall.
So: Was it the bland, sometimes convoluted storylines of “Five-0,” that kept viewers away, to trigger the vacancy and the ultimate relocation?
It’s part of the TV game, where iffy shows can be moved by the network, to make way for a trial run by another show.
This has been the case for “Dome,” which has accumulated a robust following, in the very space and time where “Five-0’s” had been struggling.
“Dome,” however, will remain a summer series, with a 13-show arc airing in the summer of 2014, which suggests that this is prime summertime fare.
Of course, the mounting tension and the sci-fi element of a town suddenly isolated by a phenom — a hardtop that prevents insiders to move out, and outsiders to move in — is the stuff of King’s sense of drama and fantasy.
“Dome” has behind-the-scenes pedigree, too, since it's a project of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, CBS Television Studios and DreamWorks Television. That’s a solid block of creative talent behind the episodic cliff-hanger, where anything and everything becomes possible.
“Dome” has emerged as the Eye Network’s most watched summer show since 2000’s “Big Brother” and is the top-rated new show since 2005’s “Fire Me Please.” The show is averaging 13.84 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among the desired adults in the 18 to 49 age range. When DVR numbers are factored, “Dome” jumps to 16.7 million total viewers and a 4.3 demo, a formidable record.
It doesn’t hurt, too, that CBS has shown reruns on Sundays.
“Dome’s” acting ensemble includes Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”), Natalie Martinez (“CSI: New York”), Britt Robertson (“Life Unexpected”), Rachelle Lefevre (“Twilight”) and Mike Vogel (“Bates Motel”).