‘Resurrection’ Producer: ‘We've Never Watched’ France's ‘The Returned’

'Resurrection' Producer: 'We've Never Watched' France's 'The Returned'

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TCA 2014: Producers clear up several misconceptions about the upcoming ABC drama

The whispers around the ballroom in the minutes before ABC's “Resurrection” panel started at Friday's Television Critics Association press tour was that the drama is a rip off of French series, “The Returned.”

So, no one was surprised that the first question to the panel was just how similar “Resurrection” is to “The Returned,” which recently wrapped its run here in the United States on the Sundance Channel.

“We've never seen it. We deliberately avoided ‘The Returned,'” executive producer Michele Fazekas answered.

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Actually, the drama is based on the book, “The Returned” by Jason Mott. A pretty complete story, the producers said that the series doesn't actually follow the novel either.

“That book was obviously the impetus for the series, but it was just a starting off point,” said exec producer Aaron Zelman.

With just an eight episode order, “Resurrection” is also not intended as a limited series, which is all the rage this year as networks aim for year-round programming. The producers said that there are contained stories within each episode, but its definitely not a one-and-done series.

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“We have ideas for Season 2, Season 3,” Fazekas said. “After doing eight episodes, I'm not worried about coming up with stories now.

Set in Arcadia, Mo., “Resurrection” starts an 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) who wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, and an Immigration agent, J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by a 60-year-old couple, Henry (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Langston (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years before.

Among the other things that “Resurrection's” producers say that the series isn't is a genre show, namely science fiction. Zelman said that halfway through reading the novel, he realized that it was a much more grounded story.

Also read: ABC's ‘Resurrection’ vs. Sundance's ‘The Returned’ — Two Shows With One Great Idea (Video)

“This is a study in grief and loss,” the producer said. “And a deeper piece about life and why we're here. I wanted to write that.”

“Resurrection” premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9/8c on ABC.

  • David Perkins

    Okay, but did they ever watch ‘Chuck?’

  • Oddmoore

    “We've never seen it. We deliberately avoided ‘The Returned,'” executive producer Michele Fazekas answered. That statement in itself PROVES they knew what they were doing when they decided to go with their “oh so original series” Resurrection. Bunch a liars.
    I'm sure the American version will suck balls as usual. I for one, won't be watching it. And yes, I'll definitely KNOW what I'm doing when I “intentionally” don't watch it. Lol