You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Anatomy of a 2013 Hit: CBS’ ‘Under the Dome’ Premiere at 20 Million

DVR playback, Video-on-Demand and online streaming swell show's already-large audience

CBS has put “Under the Dome” under a microscope and discovered millions of new viewers for the summer hit.

The Eye on Thursday released detailed figures on how many — and how — viewers watched the first episode of the series, based on a Stephen King book, about a small town trapped under a mysterious dome. And  it now appears that since the pilot first premiered June 24 on CBS, more than 20 million people have watched the show via multiple platforms.

Starting from the same-night audience Nielsen reported for “Under the Dome” on June 25 (13.53 million) — which already qualified the program as the most-watched summer drama premiere on television in more than 20 years — the show added 4.23 million viewers in Nielsen’s Live +7 data (DVR playback within a week of a premiere).

Video-on-Demand transactions through the first 22 days delivered an additional 1,605,513 viewers, according to Rentrak, while 22 days of viewership from online streaming on CBS.com and its multi-channel video partners added 484,542 viewers, based on CBS Interactive internal data.

That gets the total up to 19.85 million unduplicated viewers and still does not include viewership from Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, which provides exclusive online subscription access to all episodes of “Under the Dome” four days after the broadcast on CBS.

Amazon may not have released specific streaming figures, but it says the first episode of “Dome” was the most-watched TV premiere in the history of the service — meaning the show’s first episode has easily surpassed the 20-million viewer mark.

Detailed demo information is not available on non-linear platforms, but via seven days of DVR playback, the premiere of “Under the Dome” surged 1.3 ratings points in adults 18-49 (4.6 from a same-night 3.3) and 1.6 ratings points in adults 25-54 (6.1 from 4.5).

The networks know that there is a lot of viewing done via non-linear platforms and are certainly frustrated that so many viewers go uncounted. Nielsen is working on ways to incorporate more detailed ratings snapshots, but until then the networks are taking it upon themselves to do the legwork.

In February, Fox provided a similar viewership snapshot of its January drama premiere of “The Following.” That show started with a same-night audience of 10.42 million and swelled to 20.34 million unduplicated viewers once its on-air encore, seven days of DVR playback, VOD and streams on Fox.com and Hulu were all included.

More TV

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Agencies' Antitrust Suit Against Writers Guild Set for January Hearing

    The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a Jan. 17 hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on Sept. 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • GoliathSeason 3CR: Greg Lewis/Amazon Studios

    'Goliath’ Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed gritty legal drama “Goliath” for a fourth and final season. The series centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who seeks redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Mandalorian' TV show premiere,

    Jon Favreau Already Has a Star Picked for His 'Star Wars' Holiday Special

    The “Star Wars” franchise is no stranger to the strange and odd. But the wildest of all the offerings from the galaxy far, far away is the bizarre (but beautiful) “Star Wars Holiday Special.” And Jon Favreau is ready to resurrect it. The TV special celebrating the Wookiee holiday “Light Day” aired on CBS in [...]

  • Justin Marks FX

    'The Jungle Book' Writer Justin Marks Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions

    “Counterpart” creator and showrunner and “The Jungle Book” scribe Justin Marks has signed an overall deal to create new content for FX Productions. “Justin is a true creative talent and we feel fortunate to be his partners in supporting his vision of bold and ambitious storytelling,” said FX Entertainment original programming president Gina Balian. Marks, [...]

  • Tye Sheridan

    Tye Sheridan Starring in Survival Thriller 'Wireless' From Steven Soderbergh for Quibi

    Quibi has ordered another show with notable Hollywood talent attached: scripted series “Wireless” starring Tye Sheridan with Steven Soderbergh on board as executive producer. In the made-for-mobile-screens thriller, a smartphone has a central role. Sheridan (“Ready Player One,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) plays a self-obsessed college student who is stranded in the Colorado mountains after he crashes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content