After 3 years, Stephen King's Under the Dome finally coming to TV

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Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

Three years after it was first announced, Stephen King's Under the Dome is finally coming to television in a big way.

According to Deadline, CBS-TV has picked up King's massive novel as a 13-episode project that will go straight to series—which means that a pilot doesn't have to be shot first for the network to scrutinize (and pick apart) before saying yes.

That's not surprising, considering the huge names behind the endeavor: Along with King himself, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce the show, with his Amblin Entertainment on board as the production company in association with CBS Television Studios.

This, by the way, represents a promotion of sorts for the series. It was first announced as being under development for cable and ended up at Showtime, which is owned by CBS. Now the show's been upped to the parent network, where it has a bigger chance of being seen by a wider audience.

The show is being written by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Lost) and the first episode will be directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

The book, when it was published in 2009, was widely acclaimed as one of King's best in a long time, with many comparing its scope favorably to The Stand. The story takes place in a small Maine town—of course—that is sealed off from the rest of the world by a gigantic, transparent dome, leaving its inhabitants to desperately fend for themselves while trying to find out what the dome is and whether it can be breached.

Interestingly, Vaughan has, with King's permission, added some new characters and changed the book's ending—which was arguably its weak spot—at the request of CBS in case the network wants to order up a second season.

Under the Dome is expected to premiere next summer. Are you looking forward to this one?