Complete opposite of Tom's view: I loved it, largely because "end of the world" movies may be my favorite genre of movies.
I can understand people wanting a faster-paced show and some better characters, but I just loved the building feeling of dread and constantly searching for signs of the outbreak - even crap like dogs barking near the church, radio snippets, etc. The 1st third of the Stand is my favorite book, in itself, for those introductory scenes, the fight for containment, the individual disaster stories and gathering together for support, moments of heroism - being able to constantly evaluate the decisions of the characters and ponder better or more creative options. Just that primal "what the hell would you do" in the situation -- and I'm just delighted that we'll get a whole season dealing with those early days of a disastrous situation.
Stuff like the Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, etc., just skip those "collapse of civilization" storylines - largely because of budget, but also in the case of Romero's ghoul-zombies because of the narrative difficulty of plausibly having slow critters overwhelm a society (especially one with as many guns as the US!). Which is why the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are still my genre favorites -they actually show the outbreak, ultimately on as large a scale as they can muster - same with the beginning of the DotD remake, or even the opening outbreak scene in World War Z, both of which had some good introductory moments but I just wanted more, much more, of that early time frame detailing society's collapse. My favorite scene in the Dawn remake is the montage playing over Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around which shows the White House being overrun and other scenes of mass chaos (generally comprised of cleverly reused news footage of riots, etc) - now we're going to get a whole mess of hours, longer than movies can afford to show, of that time frame.
Just loved it, and hope the burn remains nice and slow.