I have to disagree, and since the TV show is being watched by more than Stephen King and the producers of the show, it would behoove them to think about their "audience."
You also have to think about why one would make a tv show or movie out of a novel. Is it because no one can write anything original or is it because the novel was popular and people would like to see it come to life? It's the latter. So when that doesn't happen, it's jarring.
It's kind of like when the Fugees did a remake of Roberta Flack's "Killing me Softly." Roberta's version of that song is iconic and definitive. The Fugees version was interesting, but most people, at least of my generation did not want to hear it...I changed the station every time it would come on.
It's also like remakes of movies. The original "Amityville Horror" was great, the remake not so much. If we go by Stephen King's theory, the original is still there to watch. But that doesn't change the awful experience when watching the remake, and it doesn't change our experience when we're watching "Under the Dome" and something is glaringly different than what our fondness for the book remembers.
Lots of "artistic" people in Hollywood feel the need to change things just for the sake of changing them; they want to put their mark on it. In my mind, that's very selfish. While I'm all for being artistic, the artist has to remember their audience.
I think that Eric makes some good points here. After all (forgive me if this point has already been made, as I haven't read through the entire thread), King himself did not like Kubrick's version of The Shining, correct? Yet it was all of his characters; one could say it was simply a different version, but still a very good version of his story.
Of course, if fans are "miffed" (this seems to be the popular term), they can certainly change the channel. But they can certainly express their disappointment as well--isn't part of the purpose of this forum to share opinions?