By Alison Willmore | Indiewire September 10, 2013 at 11:3AM
Sundance Channel has picked up the rights to the French supernatural drama "The Returned," and will give the series its US television premiere on Halloween, Thursday, October 31st at 9pm ET/PT, with subsequent episodes airing weekly on Thursdays. The eight-part series was acquired from Music Fox Films and is based on Robin Campillo's 2004 film "They Came Back," a kind of poetic zombie film in which 70 million people inexplicably return from the dead and attempt to reintegrate themselves into society.
Created by Fabrice Gobert, "The Returned" has been a critical hit on both Canal+ and Channel 4 in the UK. "We decided to take zombies to a new and utterly original level -- we made them French!" Sundance Channel's Sarah Barnett said in the announcement. "'The Returned' is smart entertainment that shocks and entertains at every turn. We think our audience will love how this series grounds the supernatural in deeply human emotions." "'The Returned' epitomizes the very best of the crop of outstanding international television productions finding its way onto US screens," added Music Box's William Schopf. "We couldn’t be more excited about working with our partners at the Sundance Channel to introduce this extraordinary series to American audiences."
The series is set in a small French mountain town where a seemingly random group of people find themselves confusedly trying to get home, only to discover they're been dead for several years. As the community tries to cope with the return of friends, family members and lovers who've been buried and mourned, a series of gruesome murders resembling the work of a past serial killer takes place. The series, which first aired in France in the fall of 2012, bears some resemblance to the upcoming ABC fall drama "Resurrection," which was based on a novel by Jason Mott called, coincidentally, "The Returned."