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Amazon, CBS to put UK 'Under the Dome' on Lovefilm too

Starting next summer, Amazon's Lovefilm will be the only subscription-based service to stream the CBS sci-fi hit show in the UK.

"Under the Dome" was a top primetime show on broadcast TV in the US this summer.

The inhabitants of Chester's Mill are still trapped under an inexplicable dome in Maine, but UK subscribers to Amazon's Lovefilm streaming service will be able to start watching their exploits next year.

CBS, the parent company of CNET, and Lovefilm said Tuesday they have struck a licensing deal that makes Lovefilm the only subscription-based service in the UK allowed to stream the serial drama. CBS was able to make the show with atypically high standards for a summer program -- realistic special effects, expensive sets, a big cast -- thanks to lucrative licensing with Amazon and international markets.

The Lovefilm license begins June 2014, which presumably is about the same time the second season of the program will start airing in the US. The series premiered on June 24 of this year.

CBS has extolled Amazon's role in "Under the Dome" as a triumphant new model for summer programming and distribution. CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves has said Amazon's initial license to stream the shows just four days after they air, along with international rights, made "Under the Dome" a profitable enterprise before the public even laid eyes on it.

But the show, which is based on Stephen King's popular novel of the same name, has also been a runaway broadcast hit this summer, a period that television programming typically populates with reruns and reality shows rather than expensive, scripted dramas. It's the highest rated drama in the summer since 1991, Moonves has said.

Amazon hasn't disclosed how many people watch "Under the Dome" on its Prime Instant Video service, which costs $79 a year, but it has said that the first episode was most-watched TV premiere on its service ever and was watched by more customers than any other series on Prime Instant Video.

CBS and Lovefilm are building on a licensing track record that earlier this year brought a number of TV series to streaming customers in the UK, as well as Germany, like the original "Star Trek," "The Good Wife," "Dexter," and "Nurse Jackie."

Purchased by Amazon in 2011 to reel in European consumers, Lovefilm offers films and TV series for streaming.