A few years back, before the popularity of “The Walking Dead” was fathomed by studio executives, CBS was dabbling in delivering a zombie series of its own with “Babylon Fields” from Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta, and Michael Atkinson. It never happened, but now guess what’s just come back from the dead?
According to Deadline, “Babylon Fields” is getting a second chance at NBC, which has ordered a new pilot. The Cuesta brothers and Atkinson are back in their original roles as writers (Gerald Cuesta, Atkinson) and director (Michael Cuesta). The three will executive produce for 20th Century Fox TV. As part of the pilot order, Michael Cuesta has inked a two-year overall deal with the studio.
Described as a sardonic drama, in “Babylon Fields” the dead are rising in Babylon, NY, and as a result lives are regained, old wounds are reopened, and families are restored — for better or worse. The newly regenerated bodies are healing faster and growing stronger than anyone else, leading to the suspicion that they might be the next step in human evolution.
“Babylon Fields” has long been a passion project for NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, who developed it in her previous role as EVP Creative Affairs at 20th TV. Despite often getting the “zombie” label (the pilot’s deceased did look the worse for wear — bad skin, autopsy scars, open wounds, worms, and all), according to the creators, “Babylon Fields” goes beyond the initial ‘return of the dead’ conceit, exploring the power of human connectedness, the next steps in our evolutionary progress, the slow-boil conflicts between the new societies, religions and mores birthed by the phenomenon, and the question: Who, ultimately, is more fully human — the living or the dead?
Check out the original failed CBS pilot below.
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