Sundance Channel has acquired US broadcast rights to the supernatural drama “The Returned” from Music Box Films. The eight-part French series distributed by Zodiak Rights was created by Fabrice Gobert and is based on the feature film Les Revenants by Robin Campillo. It premiered on Sundance Channel on Halloween and will air every Thursday night at 9PM.
The critically received series was a smash hit for France’s Canal+ and the UK’s Channel 4. The New York Times recently profiled outstanding foreign drama series and pronounced it “fresh and unexpected.” The Independent wrote, “’The Returned’… is actually one of the greatest, creepiest, most compelling shows brought to… TV screens in 2013,” and The Daily Telegraph commented, “Probably the most stylish thing you’ll see on TV this year.”
“We decided to take zombies to a new and utterly original level— we made them French!” stated Sarah Barnett, President of Sundance Channel. “‘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.”
In an idyllic French mountain town, a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes. What they don’t know yet is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. As they struggle to reintegrate with their families and past lovers, buried secrets emerge and new mysteries develop as they grapple with a miraculous and sinister new reality. But it seems they are not the only ones to have returned from the dead. Their arrival coincides with a series of gruesome murders which bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past. The series was produced by Caroline Benjo, Jimmy Desmarais, and Carole Scotta from Haut et Court.
“‘The Returned’ epitomizes the very best of the crop of outstanding international television productions finding its way onto US screens,” says William Schopf, President of Music Box Films. “We couldn’t be more excited about working with our partners at the Sundance Channel to introduce this extraordinary series to American audiences.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to bring this phenomenal series to the North American audience”, says Marc Nowak, General Manager Zodiak Rights (Paris). “This is a sign the U.S. TV market is opening up to French drama and that the independent production and distribution companies need to continue to innovate and create original fiction to succeed internationally.”
“We are proud that Sundance Channel chose ‘The Returned’ for their audience,” says Caroline Benjo, Haut et Court producer. “Sundance Channel represents a landmark in independent programming, airing bold and innovative TV projects from all over the world. We couldn’t have dreamt being in better hands.”