4. Under the Dome (CBS)
Stars: Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Colin Ford, Natalie Martinez, Alexander Koch, Britt Robertson, Nicholas Strong, Jolene Purdy, Aisha Hinds, Dean Norris
Premiere Date: June 24
The pedigree behind CBS' ambitious, one-season-long series Under the Dome is serious business. One, it's based on Stephen King's epic 2009 novel, and, unlike the dozens of other King-rooted projects that tangentially benefit from his name, the iconic novelist is one of the executive producers. Similarly impressive is the fact that Under the Dome's top overseer is comic book veteran Brian K. Vaughan, most known for titles like Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. Lastly, the pilot's director is Swedish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev, the man who first brought Steig Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to the big screen in '09.
Together, those first-class creative minds have tackled one truly sprawling and dark tale. Like King's book, Under the Dome shows what happens when the residents of Chester's Mill, Maine, turn savage after an impenetrable, clear wall closes them off from the rest of the world. Anyone who's read King's novel will tell you: The Simpsons Movie has nothing on Under the Dome. Bodies will drop, blood will flow, and Breaking Bad's Dean Norris will dominate as the antagonistic Big Jim Rennie. —MB