'Resurrection' EPs on 'The Returned,' Departing From Source Material

ABC/Guy D'Alema

Premieres: Sunday, March 9 at 9 p.m. (ABC)
Stars: Omar Epps, Devin Kelley, Matt Craven, Frances Fisher, Samaire Armstrong, Sam Hazeldine, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Hildreth, Kurtwood Smith, Landon Gimenez

What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day's gone by? The lives of the people of Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Based on the novel by Jason Mott.

The Returned was a frequent topic during ABC's Television Critics Association press tour panel for Resurrection -- not just because it's the name of the book on which the midseason drama is loosely based, it's also the name of the critically lauded French series that share Resurrection's back-from-the-dead premise.

"I have never seen The Returned," says executive producer Michele Fazekas. "We knew about The Returned when we came onto the project, so we avoided it."

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The Returned, which has earned raves in its U.S. run on Sundance, is also being developed for a stateside reboot on A&E. The cable network has Carlton Cuse attached, even as Sundance recently confirmed that they also will air a second season of the original.

Resurrection, itself based on the treatment for Jason Mott's book The Returned, won't be staying too close to its source material. Not only was the pilot produced months before the novel's September 2013 release, the 352-page book has a fixed ending.

"That book was obviously the impetus for the series," said EP Aaron Zelman, "but it was just a starting-off point."

"[The show] is a continuing storyline, very much," added Fazekas, who was quick to say they anticipate an ongoing series despite the "event" label being touted by the net. "There are contained stories within each episode."

The possibility of moving on past the original eight-episode order, however, likely wouldn't ever involve a 22-episode order. The panel was pretty adamant about their fondness for the abbreviated run.

"This is a very different show," said Fazekas. "I'm happy that we had eight episodes. I think we could do 13 on the outside, but more than that would start to dilute it. I really loved the opportunity to be able to focus on great stories."