Produced by New Amsterdam Entertainment, Blixa Film Produktion and Hallmark Entertainment Distribution, the series was first broadcast in the United States on December 3, 2000 on the Sci Fi Channel. It was later released on DVD in 2001, with a director's cut appearing in 2002.
A 2003 sequel miniseries called Frank Herbert's Children of Dune continued the story, adapting the second and third novels in the series (1969's Dune Messiah and its 1976 sequel Children of Dune). As of 2004, both miniseries were two of the three highest-rated programs ever to be broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel.
Frank Herbert's Dune won two Emmy Awards in 2001 for Cinematography and Visual effects]] in a miniseries/movie, as well as being nominated for a third Emmy for Sound editing. The series was also praised by several critics, including Kim Newman. 
The miniseries was shot in Univisium (2.00:1) aspect ratio, although it was broadcast in 1.78:1.
Director John Harrison has described his film adaptation as a "faithful interpretation" in which any changes he made served to suggest what Herbert had explained subtly or not at all. The miniseries introduces elements not found in Herbert's novel, but according to the director, these serve to elaborate rather than to edit.
Herbert's novel begins with lead character Paul Atreides being 15 years old and aging to 18 over the course of the story. Harrison aged the character to adulthood in order to increase the quality of the acting for this crucial role.
The miniseries invents an extensive subplot for Princess Irulan, a character who plays little part in the plot of the first novel. Harrison felt the need to expand Irulan's role because she played such an important part in later books, and epigraphs from her later writings opened each chapter of Dune. Additionally, the character gave him a window into House Corrino. Besides the final scene, the only one of Irulan's appearances based on an actual excerpt from the novel is her visit to Feyd-Rautha. However, in the book it is a different Bene Gesserit, Margot Fenring, who visits the Harkonnen heir, on assignment from the Bene Gesserit to "preserve the bloodline" by retrieving his genetic material (through conception) for their breeding program. The miniseries does not suggest this as Irulan's motive.
- Kevin J. Anderson Interview ~ DigitalWebbing.com (2004) Internet Archive, July 3, 2007.
- See Science Fiction/Horror by Kim Newman, BFI Publishing, 2002.
- "DUNE: Remaking the Classic Novel" - Cinescape.com
- SciFi.com ~ Ask John Harrison
- Julie Cox's narration at the beginning and end of the miniseries reflects Irulan's later role as historian of the Atreides empire, illustrated by Herbert through epigraphs.
- Harrison has stated in interviews that actress Alice Krige was his first choice to play Jessica, but she was unavailable and Reeves won the role. Krige would later play the role in the sequel miniseries when Reeves was unavailable.