CBS TV Studios president Stapf discussed the success of their new show Under the Dome.
From the Jan. 3, 2014, issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine, the show is praised for their pricey sets, big special effects and a sizable cast of recognizable stars, including Breaking Bad‘s Dean Norris, 50, Twilight‘s Rachelle Lefevre, 34, and Bates Motel‘s Mike Vogel, 34.
“It worked beyond our expectations,” says Stapf of the experiment, with Dome ending its first season as the most watched summer series in more than two decades with, on average, 15 million-plus viewers. The series returns in summer 2014, with King set to pen the first episode.
CBS inked a rich, first-of-its-kind deal with Amazon that gave the streaming giant rights to episodes just four days after they aired. (It reportedly paid $700,000 per installment and helped make Dome instantly profitable for CBS.)
“There wasn’t as much pressure,” notes Lefevre, referring to the lack of precedent. CBS execs “were able to make big, ballsy decisions as a result, and success is what comes from that.”