The zombies on this moody, atmospheric, impossibly chic French drama (now airing on Sundance) aren't really zombies per se. They don't nibble on femurs or…
Credit: Jean Claude Lother

This is going to get a little confusing, but stick with us.

First there was a 2004 French film whose title is translated as They Came Back, about the dead coming back to life, seemingly healthy and fully conscious, which provokes assorted positive and negative consequences. Then this neo-zombie concept became a 2012 French TV series called The Returned, which went on to win international acclaim. The Returned came to the U.S. last year via Sundance Channel, which ordered a second season. Then ABC launched a show last month called Resurrection, which is basically the same concept, and is frequently confused with The Returned.

Now A&E is doing The Returned — a new version of the French version — with Lost and Bates Motel showrunner Carlton Cuse and True Blood writer Raelle Tucker.

A&E has ordered 10 episodes. “The Returned has the potential to be one of the most compelling drama series on cable, thanks to phenomenal scripts written by Carlton and Raelle,” said McKillop. “We look forward to seeing their vision brought to life on screen.”

To add to the marketplace overlap, Cuse’s former Lost showrunner partner Damon Lindelof is returning to TV with HBO’s The Leftovers this summer. In the show, 2 percent of the world’s population suddenly vanishes. So while this idea is different than The Returned and Resurrection, it’s still about a mysterious phenomena whereby people are added/subtracted from our reality (unless, of course, they eventually come back).