News Briefs: A Whole Bunch of People Watched Under the Dome

... CBS's Under the Dome is a bigger summer hit than sunburn! The series premiere of the supernatural drama drew in a hefty 13.14 million viewers, which isn't supposed to happen during the summer. In fact, CBS says it was the most-watched summer drama premiere on any network since 1992 and its best-rated summer premiere of any genre since 2005. It might not slow down, either. The first episode was up against the clinching Stanley Cup game, and positive reviews and a lack of future competition (well, except for NBC's poorly scheduled Siberia) mean that it could keep most of its audience. I liked it, and said so in this review. [CBS via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... USA Network has ordered two more episodes of Psych for Season 8, increasing the total from the original order of eight to... *grabs calculator, abacus, horse that can count by stomping its hoof* 10 episodes. The network previously asked for five additional scripts, but has decided to move forward with just a pair of them. But it sounds like USA is letting fans choose the story of one of those two episodes in a fun way. Starting Wednesday, June 26, fans can vote online from one of three storylines to go from page to screen. The winning arc will be announced at this year's Comic-Con, where Psych will also preview its two-hour "Psych: The Musical" episode. There, that's enough Psych news to keep you Psych-Os happy for about 45 seconds. [USA via press release]

... Starz has made its series pickup of Outlander official with a press release, confirming 16 episodes for 2014. The series, from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, follows a time-traveling World War Deuce nurse who zaps back to 1743 Scotland and falls for a handsome Scottish Highlands warrior. News of the series pickup actually broke a few weeks ago, so this is probably something you already knew but of course I'm only telling you this at the end of the blurb. You can pick up the 30 seconds I owe you at the front desk of TV.com in the offices in San Francisco. Ask for Jen. [Starz via press release]

... HGTV has renewed Renovation Raiders for a second season. People who I have zero TV taste in common with will be so happy! [Broadcasting & Cable]

... Oprah's OWN network has doubled its order for Tyler Perry's The Haves and Have Nots, boosting the first-season episode count from 16 to 32. It's essentially Downton Abbey with black people instead of British people, according to one picture I looked at. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Actress Amy Brenneman (Judging Amy, Private Practice) has boarded Damon Lindelof's HBO pilot The Leftovers. The series, an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's book, follows the people left behind after the Rapture swoops all the righteous away. She'll play the wife of Justin Theroux's lead character. [TV Guide]

... Rumor alert: Storage Wars "star" Barry Weiss has given up on his dream of hunting for treasure in piles in trash for (televised) fun. The original cast member of A&E's (totally fake) reality series reportedly just wanted to travel more and has already filmed his farewell. [Radar Online]


WILD AND CRAZY AND STUPID NEWS

... An Albuquerque beer brewery is drawing on some local inspiration for its next brew. Marble Brewing will release "Heisenberg's Dark," an India Black Ale inspired by the alter ego of Breaking Bad's Walter White. Hopefully it will be followed by "I'm the One Who Doublebocks," the malt liquor/energy drink hybrid "Blue Ice," and a real Schraderbrau. [Marble Brewery's Instagram

... Since 2011, 146 babies in the United States have been named "Khaleesi," presumably because it's the fake-language Dothraki word for "queen" on HBO's Game of Thrones. In other news, a frighteningly small number of babies have been named Tormund Giantsbane, because parents don't want their kids to grow up to be awesome. [Sun]


REQUIRED READING

... I'm adding this new occasional category to News Briefs for whenever I come across an article that's a good read. There will also be a test, so don't skim it. Also also, do not stop coming to TV.com in favor of the site I link to, otherwise our readership will plummet and I won't be able to afford braces for my cat. Today's article is all about television revenue! I know, exciting, right? Basically, Vulture explains how CBS's Under the Dome just about broke even before the series ever aired, and how the model for networks is changing because of plummeting ratings. It's dry and business-y, but it's pretty fascinating. [Vulture]

Comments (58)
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Jun 27, 2013
The 13 million scares me becasue I think CBS will try to capitalize on this and try to make this think 2 or 3 seasons long and that will destroy it.
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Jun 26, 2013
Lol, braces for your cat! And that article was a fascinating read, not more so than the articles on this site though. So you needn't worry about affording anything for your cat :)
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Jun 26, 2013
CBS rocks ! I'm thinking people on top there actually go down a couple of floors from their offices and ask people " any fresh ideas? "
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Jun 27, 2013
No they just steal the ideas that showtime passes on.
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Jun 26, 2013
CBS: "When you play the game of domes, you win or you die"
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Staff
Jun 26, 2013
Brilliant.
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Jun 26, 2013
What's that, new content when there's nothing else on actually gets people watching? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?!? (stupid networks with nothing on for 4 months)

Wait, more Psych is good, but less more Psych is... wait... I'm confused.

Anytime I see "Starz" in a blurb, I generally check out, even when Ron More is involved. Because there's no chance I'll ever see whatever it is, just doesn't fit my viewing habit.

I didn't read the Vulture article, but I did skim right to the bulleted list of answers in the middle because that's how much I care, enough to skim an article. It surprised me not at all.
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Jun 26, 2013
Well it's definitely good news that Under that Dome's ratings were so great. Maybe this will mean that we'll get more scripted shows and fewer reality shows. BUT I hope it doesn't mean that CBS tries to turn the show into an ongoing series, because then they'd have to put off giving us the answers to the mysteries and the show would basically become a soap opera under a dome.
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Jun 26, 2013
Thanks for that link Tim, a very interesting, and perhaps encouraging, article on funding. Anything that can convince networks to increase the importance of quality and move away from the complete obsession with ratings can only be a good thing.
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Jun 26, 2013
Under the Dome does have the advantage of the Steven King name and the show has been talked about and promoted for months. And this is the time of year that people are searching for something to watch. I watched for about five minutes before turning it off. It just didn't appeal to me. Although I wonder how many downloaded it. :)

Watching Storage Wars yesterday I did get the impression that Barry was quitting. He's been talking about financial trouble for the past number of episodes and the preview of next week did imply that it would be his last episode. But who are they going to find to replace him? He brought so much personality to the show.
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Jun 26, 2013
So, you turned off Under the Dome even before the dome made its appearance and the sh*t started hitting the fan? That's exactly what I did when I first watched Storage Wars. After 5 minutes I turned it off for lack of interest too....
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Jun 29, 2013
I could tell from how the story was being setup that I wouldn't be interested in it. I've seen enough similar material to know where it was headed.
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Jun 26, 2013
I watched Under the Dome here in Australia and I really liked it. I am looking forward to how the story unfolds and what the hell the dome is?
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Jun 26, 2013
Not even 10 minutes in and I was already sold on this Dome - creepy birds popping out of shells, check, suspicious looking body getting buried by hunky dude, check, the Twin Peaks cafe, check, Breaking Bad's Hank, check, teenage sweethearts at odds after happy times, check, Maxine Fortenberry as the nosy lady, check, cows causing car accident, check, cow getting sliced (sorry cows), check...
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Jun 26, 2013
Well, I think "Under the dome" was fine, but I would not exagerate its quality neither. It is understandable that the ratings are high in the summer, and we can give CBS the credit of having scheduled this show brilliantly, at least that :)
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Jun 26, 2013
Thank you for mentioning that Vulture article at the end. I love learning about the business side of television and that article was a great read.
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Jun 26, 2013
You said it yourself, Tim--"There's really not much to watch right now," or something like that--don't quote me. All 13 million people not on vacation watched this and I expected as much. It might draw 14 million different people next week--motels still have TVs do they not? It's a freakin' summer blockbuster on the tube. It's no Revolution, but that's a good thing, I think...
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Jun 26, 2013
Thought UTD was very good, but and it's a big but, it's a premise that could get very old very fast, sure there was some little snippets of intrigue and such thrown in but it needs to keep working hard on the story and writing to keep the interest.
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Jun 26, 2013
Wow the numbers for Under the Dome are impressive.
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Jun 26, 2013
What it doesn't tell us, is how many of those Khaleesi's are female and how many are are male.
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Jun 26, 2013
Wanting to name you newborn with an original and beautiful name from GoT is completely understandable. That's why my niece was named Blackfish Olenna. But we'll just call her Hot Pie.
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Jun 26, 2013
Good for Under the Dome. Bad for someone naming their child Khaleesi. There can be only one Khaleesi, just like the Highlan.... Oh yeah good for Starz for pickin up Highlander.
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Jun 26, 2013
You said the ratings should be good the whole mini-series because it has nothing to compete against. So Dexter, Breaking Bad, Ray Donavan, True Blood ect. aren't good enough to compete?
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Jun 26, 2013
dexter be here already !!!!
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Jun 26, 2013
None of those shows air at 10pm on Monday.
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Jun 26, 2013
okay. Nothing was said about time-slots so I assumed he meant tv shows airing during the summer
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Jun 26, 2013
Happy about Under the Dome, even though I missed it. Luckily I'm recording Sunday's airing. While I do not doubt that it is a quality show, I do feel a lot of factors account for its ratings including it is on CBS. They are the #1 network for a reason. I hope it continues to succeed.
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Jun 26, 2013
Either you're sliding over to Vulture or you made one bad strategic move.
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Jun 26, 2013
Hodor.. Hodor.. Hoooodooorrr !!!!!!!
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Jun 26, 2013
Xaro Xan Ducksauce! FTW Game of Thrones names!
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Jun 26, 2013
I find it interesting that there are now black people, white people and British people apparently.
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Jun 26, 2013
White, black, and a dull gray?
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Jun 26, 2013
What about the black British folks?
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Jun 26, 2013
Happy about Under the Dome's ratings. If the ratings keep holding up like this, then it could get another season next summer.
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Jun 26, 2013
I rather like the idea of the miniseries/serial that ends with X number of episodes. 13 lean and tightly written episodes would be ideal IMO. A few shows have had success keeping a secret for several seasons (The Mentalist with its Red John serial killer's identity, and How I Met Your Mother which has yet to disclose its title's premise, or so I think since I stopped watching and caring a long time ago) but I think most people just get tired of the extended ruse and stop watching altogether. Short and sweet makes a lot of sense in today's TV market.
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Jun 26, 2013
More is not necessarily better. I'd take a strong single season over multiple just ok seasons every time.
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Jun 26, 2013
Hell, we had one great episode, let's just call it quits now.
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Jun 26, 2013
Wow, today's news just chock full o'weird-but-true facts AND a fun new and intelligent section. Christmas has come early. Evidently celebrity is not a requirement when it comes to being dumb assholes about naming offspring.

That article was pretty interesting. Makes it sound like going into work at CBS today was some kinda Michigan J. Frog party. Ultimately it sounds like the message to broadcast networks is the same one the tech industry operates under: innovate or die.
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Jun 26, 2013
Grey Worm has a nice ring to it.

Ugh, Bob.
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Jun 26, 2013
My avatar is that of the Right Reverend J. R. "Bob" Dobbs and I can assure you that he will smite thee mightily for thy sacrilege!
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Jun 26, 2013
I'm so happy Starz ordered Outlander series! Yay!
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Jun 26, 2013
Pretty epic book series, its going to be a great show if done right and has the funding behind it
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Jun 26, 2013
It bothered me that the dome came right down on the edge of that bridge and it didn't collapse at all, even a little bit. Was it held up some other way?
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Jun 26, 2013
Yeah, and I thought the plane was outside the dome when it crashed in the book, I guess I wasn't reading carefully enough.
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Jun 26, 2013
Interesting idea naming an ale after the Uncertainty Principle.
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Jun 26, 2013
Joffrey is a perfectly serviceable name. Haters gonna hate. :P
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Jun 26, 2013
Mmmm, summer reading.
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Jun 26, 2013
I think this reflects more on Stephen King's popularity than the series.
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Jun 26, 2013
Stephen King is a more divisive figure than you think.
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Jun 26, 2013
You would know better than I do.Otherwise, why has Haven not been as popular? Did this particular novel sell better than the others? I have read it recently and loved it and hence am watching the series, but this in itself would not explain the ratings.
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Jun 26, 2013
Lots and lots of promotion. Hell I even saw promotion on australian shows I was watching. This number also does not reflect torrenting, as the premiere was available a day or so before its 'airing'. Haven wasnt as popular because it was never really marketed to the masses as King, plus its Syfy channel, and based on a book that only his biggest fans read as once again, it wasnt marketed like his other work. I really liked the Diary of Rose Red miniseries that aired a long while back, which was also based on Kings work.
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Jun 26, 2013
How 'bout Golden Years, a much longer time ago with a very young Felicty Huffman?
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Jun 26, 2013
The Premiere seemed lackluster to me, so if ratings went wild due to promotion then episode two has to see a steep downfall, contrary to what Tim is saying.So I guess we'll have to wait for next week to see who is right. As of now, I think you are closer to a true assessment.
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Jun 26, 2013
Basically Stephen king has had a LOT of failures relative to his successes because he writes a LOT of books.
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