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‘Under the Dome’ a Big Hit for CBS

CBS’s (NYSE: CBS) big budget mini-series, “Under the Dome” premiered on Monday night to a huge audience marking the biggest numbers for a new summer scripted show since the network ‘s 1992 hit, “2000 Malibu Road.”

The first episode of the 13 show run premiered Monday night in the 10:00 p.m. time slot. According to Nielson, 13.14 million viewers tuned in not counting the many who likely recorded the premiere due to its later time slot.

In 1992, “2000 Malibu Road” delivered 17.05 million viewers but was not considered as high of a number since there were no DVRs or internet TV options.

The long-followed script of television networks is to not premiere big-budget shows in the summer months since less people are home to watch. Reality TV as well as reruns or low-budget content is the norm.

CBS is spending between $3 million and $3.4 million per episode along with a hefty marketing budget. The studio also sold the digital rights to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) for what is reported to be high six figures per episode.

The series is based on a Steven King book by the same title. It centers around an invisible dome that mysteriously appears over a small town. If the show continues to have large market share, the network isn’t ruling out transforming the miniseries into a multi season franchise.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the above mentioned stocks.

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