Pop Culture

'Under the Dome' renewed for a second season


"Under the Dome," CBS' massive sci-fi summer hit, was renewed for a second season, the network announced Monday.

Stephen King, who wrote the novel upon which the serialized drama was based, will pen the first of 13 new episodes, premiering in summer 2014.

Starring Mike Vogel and Rachelle Lefevre and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the series centers around a small town suddenly trapped beneath a mysterious transparent dome. And within the supernatural bubble, the residents of Chester's Mill, Maine, are also hiding dark secrets of their own.

“We’re excited to tell more stories about the mystery of the dome and the secrets in Chester's Mill, and are thrilled to have the master storyteller himself, Stephen King, tell the first one of next season,” said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler in a statement.

When asked about sustaining the mystery without frustrating viewers, CBS boss Les Moonves compared "Dome" to the network's other event series, "Hostages."

"We didn't put it on to just have 15 episodes — we put it on to have multiple seasons of it. Why can't they be under the dome a long period of time? This is television," he joked with reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour Monday. "This is science fiction.

" 'Under the Dome' in a lot of ways is a soap opera: It's 'Dallas' in the future," added Moonves, referring not to remake, but the original "Who shot J.R.?" 1980s phenomenon.

"Dome's" renewal is one of the least surprising network pickups of the year, considering its astronomical ratings. Its Monday night broadcast has averaged more than 13 million viewers and given the network its first win in the 18-49 demo in 20 years. It also has attracted an impressive online audience and is Amazon's No. 1 streaming series.