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The best and worst of Stephen King

How well have the author's novels been adapted for TV over the years?

By Barbara Card Atkinson
Special to MSN TV

Stephen King is best known as a prolific writer of fiction: He's published 50 novels, five books of nonfiction and almost 200 short stories. Like him or not, there's no denying the man can tell a story (and, for the record, we're huge fans!).

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But no matter how well his writing does in printed form, bringing it to the screen often ends in a flop. Why? Because his novels are dense, rich and complex. Maybe not always the basic plot -- "some strangers go into a haunted house and must figure out what's going on" is pretty much A to B, but there is so much more in there than simply what happens externally. The characters are consistently fully drawn, with complete backstories and fascinating inner lives that cannot be depicted by simple dialog or a rapid montage sequence.

Now he's trying again, with "Under the Dome," a CBS miniseries based on his novel of the same name. Can TV do right by Mr. King?

If the numbers mean anything, "Under the Dome" is off to a good start. The June 24 premiere tied "The Following" premiere on FOX as the second-highest-rated drama debut this year according to Nielsen.

"Under the Dome" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

What's your favorite TV show based on a Stephen King novel? Tell us on our MSN TV Facebook page and on Twitter.

(CBS)