ABC’s The Bachelorette ended its season on a high note — a proposal and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 for the two-hour finale, up a tenth from last week and the best demo result since the season premiere. (In total viewers, the reality series closed out its cycle with a season-high 7.5 million viewers). But versus last summer’s finale, Bachelorette was down 27% to log the series’ lowest-rated finale in Live+Same Day 18-49 ratings. At 10 PM, The Bachelorette: After The Final Rose special (2.1) built onto its lead-in but too was down from last year (-16%) to rank as the lowest-rated After The Rose special in Live+SD. Despite facing the After The Rose special, CBS’ Under The Dome (1.5) held steady, even with last Monday.
From the clips they showed today at Comic-Con, the second season of Under The Dome is about to get a lot harsher. Big Jim is on the warpath, Barbie is on the move and what’s underneath Chester’s Mill might turn out to be as deadly as the dome that’s over top of it. ”No one is safe under the dome,” said executive produce Neal Baer today about whether more characters would die on the CBS summer drama.
“We kept the body count down for the beginning of the season so we can rev it up towards the end,” Baer added during today’s panel discussion. “There are no set rules,” the EP also remarked about whether killed-off characters could come back.
A five-minute clip of Episode 7 was shown during the panel, hinting with Mike Vogel’s character Dale “Barbie” Barbara falling into a deep cavern that the dome may prove not to so impregnable. “One of our characters might get out of the dome this season, literally,” said Baer. “We just finished shooting last week and we know the ending but we won’t tell you.” The episode airs August 11.
You may have heard that we are living in a glorious age of television, one where the biggest movie stars leap unceremoniously from the cineplex to the now-nontoxic small screen. An era of event programming and limited series, where stories of anti-heroes and the underbelly of the American Dream are being revealed simultaneously on broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services. Television suddenly has become prestigious.
You may have heard all this, but that doesn’t make it true.
“It’s not like TV has suddenly become amazing and great — it’s always been amazing and great,” declares Under The Dome executive producer Neal Baer. He should know, having earned his stripes for almost 30 years on network shows such as Law & Order: SVU and ER. Baer has seen TV’s long arc bend back many times. “There was crap, but I could start listing path-breaking television series that thought about racism and drug abuse,” he says.
What’s new today is that TV is a creation of quantity as much as quality, with many more outlets and platforms to grab high-value consumers’ attention with content that up until just a decade ago would have made its home solely in the movies. We have traditional TV trying to recoup some of the luster it lost to non-advertiser-supported programming, but either way, the economics and creativity sit squarely in the small screen’s favor. One need only look at anthologies such as HBO’s True Detective or limited event series like Fox’s 24: Live Another Day or CBS’ Under The Dome to see that the torch is being carried on.
In CBS‘ first Summer Junket Day (“Summer is the new Fall”, said CBS Productions Television Studios president David Stapf to kick things off), Under The Dome EP Neal Baer talked about the second season re-boot for the Stephen King series which, Stapf reminded reporters, was the most watched new drama series of the wrapping TV season, besting NBC’s The Blacklist.
Though the second season will move past King’s book, storyline-wise, King is giving it his blessing by writing the first episode and making a cameo, Baer said. “So he’s certifying” it.
In a trailer for that first, King-written episode, The Dome becomes magnetic, sending all the town’s metal appliances, vehicles, etc. careening across the landscape. This doesn’t end well for at least one of the show’s characters.
CBS Sets Summer Premiere Dates For ‘Big Brother’, ‘Unforgettable’ & ‘Reckless’, Pushes ‘Extant’ Debut By Week
CBS is mounting its most aggressive summer schedule with four original scripted dramas and three nights of Big Brother. As the network announced in January, last summer’s breakout Under The Dome will return for a second season on June 30, airing in its old Monday 10 PM slot. The new sci-fi drama series from Under The Dome executive producer Steven Spielberg, Extant, was originally slated to debut two days later, on July 2. That has now been pushed back a week to July 9 so the new series starring Halle Berry can get a longer promo push of its own, after Under The Dome has already premiered, including ads in three more Big Brother originals. CBS’ summer reality staple is back in its old Wednesday-Thursday-Sunday airing pattern beginning June 25. For years, Big Brother had launched after July 4. CBS was happy with the results from last summer’s move of the premiere date two weeks earlier and is sticking with the same early rollout this year. The reality veteran will be used to launch two new drama series, Extant on Wednesday and Reckless on Sundays. The soapy legal drama, originally picked up for midseason, has been pushed to summer, premiering on June 29. CBS’ only midseason drama slot available was the undesirable Friday 8 PM, so the network opted for a summer run instead. Unforgettable, which aired in the post-Big Brother Sunday slot last year, will shift an hour to 10 PM this summer. It’s probably too early to read much into the CBS summer repeat schedule (Friends With Better Lives has not even premiered yet) but still, encouraging news for the network’s Monday comedy block as of next month, with 2 Broke Girls, Friends With Better Lives, Mike & Molly and Mom all listed, along with the certain-to-be-renewed Big Bang Theory and The Millers on Thursday.
Here’s the network’s summer schedule:
There will not be a two-hour Steven Spielberg block on CBS next summer as the network scheduled returning Under The Dome and upcoming Extant, both produced by him, on different nights. Last summer’s breakout Dome will return in its original Monday 10 PM slot beginning June 30. Hot sci-fi/family drama Extant, starring Halle Berry, will debut two days later and air in the Wednesday 9 PM time period.
Will Obamacare become plot fodder for CBS’ Hostages and Under The Dome? A $500,000 grant awarded this week to USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Hollywood Health & Society program certainly suggests it’s a possibility. In the latest push to get Tinseltown to promote President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the decade-old program has received the money from the private California Endowment to give Hollywood producers, writers and execs details about the newly launched health insurance initiative. “Our experience has shown that the public gets just as much, if not more, information about current events and important issues from their favorite television shows and characters as they do from the news media and online resources,” said Hollywood Health & Society’s Martin Kaplan in a statement today. “This grant will allow us to ensure that industry practitioners have up-to-date, relevant facts on health care reform to integrate into their storylines and projects.” Hostages’ co-EP Jennifer Cecil sits on Hollywood Health & Society’s Advisory Board as does Under The Dome EP Neal Baer. So does Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins EP Chris Nee among others. The grant comes just over a week after Jennifer Hudson appeared in a pro-Obamacare Scandal parody video produced by Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die.
A month after CBS ordered a second season of breakout summer series Under The Dome, the network has renewed its content licensing agreement with Amazon, which has been streaming the serialized drama from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. Prime Instant Video will remain the exclusive online subscription home for the second season of Under The Dome, slated to air next summer, with episodes again available four days after their initial broadcast on CBS. Episodes of Under The Dome will also be available for purchase and download exclusively at Amazon Instant Video. “This is the way television should be,” CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves said at the time of Under The Dome‘s renewal, touting the blueprint the network established with the series, which could be done on a lower summer license fee thanks to strong international sales and the deal with Amazon. “It’s been a great new model.” Under The Dome is the most-watched series of the summer across broadcast and cable (14.9 million), and the #1 broadcast series in adults 18-49 (3.9/11) and adults 25-54 (5.2/13). On Amazon, the first episode of Under The Dome was the most-watched TV premiere in the history of Prime Instant Video, and the show was the most watched series this summer. “You’ll see every network try to replicate the model,” Moonves recently said. “There’s a huge appetite.” Under The Dome is produced by CBS Television Studios and …
High-concept serialized dramas tend to shed viewers as evident by the steady declined of NBC’s Revolution last year. CBS‘ summer breakout Under The Dome hit a new adults 18-49 low in the fast nationals last night, 2.3/7. Following an initial rise, the series based on Stephen King’s novel has now slipped for three straight weeks (2.8>2.7>2.5>2.3). There are mitigating factors. First, for the past two Mondays, some 3.2 million potential viewers have had no access to CBS because of the Time Warner Cable carriage dispute. There are indications that piracy downloads of Under The Dome have spiked in the blacked-out areas. Additionally, given that the show is available on Amazon four days after air, viewers who fall behind on the serialized drama may be opting to catch up on the streaming service (or on DVR). Even with the decline, Under The Dome remained Monday’s top program in 18-49 and total viewers (10.14 million). ABC‘s three-hour CMA Music Festival (2.0/6) rebounded big from last year when it faced the season premieres of The Voice, Revolution and Bones. Against lesser competition, the music special was up 33%, leading ABC to a nightly win in 18-49 and total viewers as CBS aired two hours of comedy repeats. Also bouncing back from last week’s decline was American Ninja Warrior on NBC (1.6/5, up 14%). Freshman reality series Get Out Alive (1.4/4) is looking better and better for …