CBS partners with Amazon to fund pricey sci fi series with big name attached.
in this case, the big name is Stephen King, but this sort of thing could work for Star Trek
too. maybe CBS would be ok with showing it on broadcast if it knew that they'd also get a big boost from their streaming partner.
This will be an interesting test case for comparing the ratings on CBS vs Amazon. I've been rooting for Netflix just because I already pay for that service but getting a month of Amazon in order to see a Star Trek
series would not be a deal killer for me at all.
CBS is often very protective of its content when it comes to online distribution. However, given that "Under the Dome" is a summer mini-series, there is less of a downside to making episodes available on additional platforms beyond CBS. Also, Amazon will now help shoulder CBS's costs for the series.
"Under the Dome," which is produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, is a big bet by CBS that viewers, who traditionally vanish from June through August, will embrace a Stephen King series. Typically, summer fare on the broadcast networks is often just new reality shows. With fewer viewers around, networks are often gun shy about expensive programs which will require big ratings to lure top advertisers.
However, cable networks such as FX and USA have prospered with original programming during the months the broadcasters hang their gone-fishing sign. Now networks are starting to rethink the idea of original programming during the summer.