Dome spawned a financial model that makes summertime gambles of its size viable on broadcast. In addition to licensing the drama in more than 200 territories worldwide, 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.)
"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.
"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."