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Viewing levels (and typically ad rates) drop during the season's longer, warmer days as travel and outdoor activities draw people's attention away from TV sets and mobile devices. But producers who want to cultivate their network ties and opportunities recognize the value in helping expand broadcasting to year-round.
Helping make the business model work: The digital rights were sold to online retailer Amazon, with its Amazon Prime subscribers able to stream episodes four days after CBS airs them and after they stream on CBS.com.
There's no downside to a summer run, Baer said.
"We love it. We love going June 24 to September. There are no interruptions, no repeats. It's very predictable for viewers: You get a dose every week and then you're done," he said.
For now, maybe. While "Under the Dome" is considered a limited-run series in terms of its number of episodes — a baker's dozen compared with the 22 or so that air during the regular September-to-May season — that doesn't mean it's one summer and done.
The producers have "such a clear vision of where this show is going. We're prepared for success," Tassler said, confidently. "Under the Dome" could return next summer and there might be a "winter cycle" as well, she said.
That has to send a shiver down the collective spine of imprisoned Chester's Mill.