Canal Plus’s The Returned (Les Revenants) is probably the hottest global drama format at the moment. The stylish zombie series, a breakout hit in France and number of international territories, just won an International Emmy for Best Drama series and has a high-profile remake in the works at A&E with Carlton Cuse. Now Sundance Channel, which had acquired the first eight-episode season of the series, launching it this past Halloween, has picked up The Returned‘s upcoming second season, which is about to go into production, in a deal with Zodiak Rights. It will debut in the US in late 2014. “The Returned has proven to be an incredible addition to our slate,” said Sundance president Sarah Barnett. “We were delighted with the overwhelming critical and fan response to the series and we expect that season two will continue to seduce and chill audiences.” Created by Fabrice Gobert, Les Revenants was inspired by the 2004 feature film by the same name directed by Robin Campillo. It is set in an idyllic French mountain town where a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes without realizing that they have been dead for several years. ABC’s similarly themed drama Resurrection premieres on March 9.
Sundance Channel also announced the renewal of its half-hour non-fiction series The Writers’ Room for a six-episode second season to premiere in the spring. In it, screenwriter Jim Rash goes inside the writers’ rooms of hit television shows. Season 2 will feature Sons of Anarchy (Kurt Sutter, Charles Murray, Mike Daniels, Katey Sagal), House of Cards, Pretty Little Liars (I. Marlene King, Oliver Goldstick, Joseph Dougherty, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell), “The Good Wife” (Robert King, Michelle King, Ted Humphrey, Julianna Margulies), Scandal (Shonda Rhimes, Mark Wilding, Matt Byrne, Jenna Bans, Heather Mitchell, and Kerry Washington), and a special episode about the growing trend of comic book and graphic novel adaptations in TV which will highlight popular series such as The Walking Dead and Smallville. The Writers’ Room is produced by Relativity Television, with Tom Forman and Aliyah Silverstein executive producing.