Things unraveled quickly for A&E in 2014, which is looking to The Returned, about dead people who suddenly reappear in a small town, to resurrect its ratings this year. The show is based on the French series, and the pilot is almost a shot-for-shot reaction of it. But executive producer Carlton Cuse swears that will change, as I wrote at Adweek:
“While we start in a similar place, the show is fairly distinctively different by the end of the season,” said Cuse. “We felt like there was a way to take the show and over time, make it something that was very distinctly our own.” Cuse added that while “there’s a small, fervent audience that watched the French show,” an even larger American audience did not.
Of course, that’s the same thing producers said last summer about Gracepoint, Fox’s adaptation of the British drama Broadchurch, which flopped last fall.
With the new TV season about to kick off, I looked at 16 returning second-year series, and predicted which ones will surge in Season 2, and which will slump. As I wrote at The Daily Beast,
A show’s second season is often its make-or-break year. After a season’s worth of growing pains and tweaking under its belt, will the series make the leap and fully realize its potential, as Scandal and New Girl gloriously did last year, or will it hit the dreaded sophomore slump and watch that initial promise implode, as was the case with Revenge, Up All Night, and Smash?
Maybe I’ll check back at the end of the season and how my predictions held up.
I’m back with this Daily Beast profile of another terrific character actor who is having a moment: Jere Burns, who is been kicking ass in the past year on three different shows: Justified, Burn Notice and now Bates Motel. As I wrote,
Burns is relishing his run of TV badassery. “The reality is that if you’re not a series regular, then the majority of these parts are bad guys,” he said. “Maybe I have a dark side … or maybe it’s just really fun. I’d rather play that guy than the dad, especially when you get the opportunity to play a guy with layers, where you get to bring some intelligence. There’s nothing more fun than a crazy, really smart guy.”
Burns speaks frankly about not appreciating his first brush with fame (when he broke out in the Judd Hirsch sitcom Dear John) and how Breaking Bad revived his career. It was another incredibly rewarding interview.