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'Under the Dome' Premieres to Record-Breaking Ratings for CBS

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 07:54 AM

"Under the Dome," CBS' new adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same title, premiered Monday night to record-breaking ratings.

The scripted drama tells the story of the small town of Chester's Mill, which suddenly becomes encapsulated by an impenetrable barrier or dome. The residents are forced to work together to try and figure out why the dome is there and how to get past it.

The first episode of "Under the Dome" attracted 13.1 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among the coveted 18-49 demographic. The debut marked broadcast TV's most-watched summer premiere since 2007, and CBS' highest-rated debut since 2002, E! Online reported.

Critics agree.

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"It's a potentially interesting way of dramatizing and heightening the state of small-town claustrophobia," Time's TV critic James Poniewozik wrote."What if this little place, which seemed like the whole world, suddenly essentially became the entire world? Would your community become self-supporting or stifling? Would it be uplifting or a nightmare?"

"There's likely enough mythology here to keep viewers who enjoy theorizing satisfied all summer, while those looking for micro-level character-driven drama can find that in abundance as well," the Daily Beast reported."The show's producers have wisely created a drama which functions on multiple levels... 'Under the Dome' manages to be a domestic drama, a disaster film, and a horror-filled science-fiction tale rolled into one, with some romance, humor, and pathos thrown in for good measure."

Monday's premiere also got people talking on Twitter.

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