New York — September 10, 2013 — Sundance Channel announced today that it 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 will premiere on Sundance Channel on Halloween, Thursday, October 31st at 9PM ET/PT. It 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.”
Following on the heels of Emmy®—nominated “Top of the Lake” and critically acclaimed original scripted series “Rectify,” “The Returned” marks a continued commitment by Sundance Channel to offer daring original entertainment. This series precedes the debut of the network’s second fully owned original scripted series, “The Red Road,” in 2014. The channel will also premiere a second season of the critically—acclaimed “Rectify,” as well as the original mini—series “The Honourable Woman,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and co—produced with BBC Worldwide.
About Sundance Channel
Sundance Channel is the destination for What’s Next, Now. Showcasing both today’s creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow, Sundance Channel tells bold stories with a fresh point of view. In addition to award winning films, Sundance Channel is home to daring new original programming. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel provides perspectives dedicated to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.
About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates AMC/Sundance Channel Global, an international programming business, and AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, a full-service network programming feed origination and distribution company.
About MUSIC BOX FILMS
Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has established itself as one of the leading theatrical and home entertainment distributors of foreign language, American independent and documentary films in the US and Canada.
Past releases include the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of international mega—selling novels; the first in the series, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, with over $10 million in US box office, was one of the most popular international releases of the decade.
2012 heralded diverse new titles such as Terence Davies’ THE DEEP BLUE SEA starring Rachel Weisz, New York Film Critics Circle Best Actress winner; and Philippe Falardeau’s Academy Award—nominated MONSIEUR LAZHAR, one of the top grossing foreign language films of the year. Recent releases include Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov’s HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA, Cate Shortland’s LORE, and Alice Winocour’s AUGUSTINE.
Upcoming titles include Roger Michell’s LE WEEK—END, written by Hanef Kureishi and starring Jim Broadbent, which is debuting at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival followed by the New York Film Festival; five—time Academy Award® nominee Jan Troell’s THE LAST SENTENCE; and Jan Ole Gerster’s German smash hit OH BOY, which swept the German Oscars earlier this year.
Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation, which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.
About ZODIAK RIGHTS
Zodiak Rights is the international distribution and rights exploitation arm of Zodiak Media. With offices in London and Paris the company is a market leader in the worldwide distribution of television and home entertainment programming across all platforms. It also has a fully—fledged merchandising and licensing arm and digital exploitation team.
Zodiak Rights represents a catalogue of over 20,000 hours of high quality content across all genres including kids, drama, factual and entertainment. Zodiak Rights London is the hub for non—scripted programming (documentaries, factual entertainment, formats and entertainment) as well as the Kids, Digital and Publishing and Clips divisions. Zodiak Rights Paris is the hub for all scripted programming (drama, comedy and feature films).
Zodiak Rights award—winning scripted programming includes: Being Human the supernatural hit for BBC Three and Syfy US; Wallander the BAFTA award—winning drama series for BBC One starring Kenneth Branagh; Millennium the highest grossing Scandinavian movie of all time, Braquo the top—rating French drama, and cult drama series Saint—Tropez.
Finished programming and format highlights include: global smash hit Wife Swap: Fort Boyard the legendary adventure game show which has celebrated its 20th anniversary; The Secret Millionaire Channel 4′s philanthropic hit; the world’s favourite dance competition So You Think You Can Dance, The Best Singers the new Swedish primetime format; and Location Location Location the UK’s premier property brand.
About HAUT ET COURT
The leading production and distribution Company Haut et Court, founded by Carole Scotta 20 years ago, known for trades marks films like Palme d’Or 2008 “Entre les Murs”, has entered into TV Production with the same aim: Creating innovative and local stories with international potential.
Founded in 1992 by Carole Scotta, Haut et Court is an independent film production and distribution company primarily dedicated to finding and accompanying new writers, directors and actors in France as much as abroad.
With the creation of Haut et Court TV, Carole Scotta, Caroline Benjo, Simon Arnal, Barbara Letellier and Jimmy Desmarais develop the TV production division: Xanadu for Arte (8 x 52′ broadcast in 2011 and notably awarded Best French Series 2011 at Série Mania), Rebound for Canal+ (8 x 52′) and an animated series (40 x 3′) for Arte adapted from the Jul comic book: Silex and the City.
The idea from the inception (from the “2000 seen by” collection produced for Arte in 1997 to the current series production policy) was to throw bridges between the movie industry and the television business by drawing fresh TV talents to cinema, and by offering new forms of writing to movie directors and authors.
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