By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 4, 2014 at 12:33PM
A year ago, ABC picked up what was then called The Returned, now officially titled Resurrection, which Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment, shared was one of his favorite pilots; so that's a good sign, right?
In March, Omar Epps landed the top role in the serial adaptation of author Jason Mott's debut novel, The Returned.
You might recall the December 2012 announcement that Mott's novel had been optioned by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, with the goal being to develop a TV drama series for ABC, based on the "high concept" novel.
I interviewed Jason soon after that announcement which I was posted in early January 2013 HERE, if you missed it.
The novel, The Returned, was eventually published during the second half of 2013; I bought a copy hoping to read it before the series debuted, but I'm not going to get a chance to do so, since the series premieres this Sunday, March 9, at 9/8c, competing with AMC's mega-hit The Walking Dead, which immediately puts the new series at a disadvantage. But ABC obviously must really believe in the series' potential to slot it against the most-watched series on TV right now.
But there was reportedly a bidding war for the rights to the novel, among several production companies and studios, suggesting that it's a strong, commercial, high concept work that will translate well to the screen.
We'll certainly find out, starting this Sunday night.
So what's Resurrection about? Here's its short synopsis:
A family gets caught up in a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life. Lucille and Harold Hargrave wonder: Is their dead eight-year-old son’s return a miracle or an impending sign of something horrible?
Omar Epps stars in the series as Martin Bellamy, who's described as:
... an agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He's a former cop who joined ICE when he got involved with a case involving the trafficking of children. He's empathetic with a soft spot for kids -- despite not having a family of his own -- and is fascinated by Jacob (newcomer Landon Gimenez), a mysterious boy who popped up from nowhere in the middle of rural China.
Epps leads a cast that includes Kurtwood Smith, Devin Kelley, Matt Craven, Frances Fisher, Sam Hazeldine, Samaire Armstrong, Nicholas Gonzalez and Mark Hildreth.
Criminal Minds' Aaron Zelman wrote the pilot, which was directed by Charles McDougall (House of Cards, The Good Wife).
Congrats to Mr Mott, Mr Epps and the rest of the cast and crew on the series' launch this Sunday! It's good to see a black actor in Epps leading a TV series on a major broadcast network like ABC, and I'm certainly looking forward to watching.
ABC has released a 3-minute preview of the series, which is embedded below: