Two new dramas debuting this week involve children -- a dead one who has come back to life and another with mysterious powers. Here are my short reviews of each:
“Resurrection,” 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC (Time Warner Cable channels 7, 8, 1007, 1008).
Last year, Sundance TV aired the French series “The Returned,” which won an International Emmy Award in 2013. It was an adaptation of the 2004 French film “They Came Back.”
“The Returned” was a novel take on the recent zombie trend, focusing on a small village where dead people came to back to life and attempted to resume their lives. It ended up on my Top 10 list for the year. It was cerebral, creepy and scared the heck out of me.
“Resurrection” is the tamer American version. It begins with 8-year-old Jacob Langston (Landon Gimenez) waking up in a rice paddy in rural China. Immigration agent Marty Bellamy (Omar Epps of “House”) returns the boy to his small-town Missouri home and his parents (Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher), but, for some reason, never gives him a change of clothes.
Here’s the kicker: Jacob died 32 earlier. The Langstons, Bellamy and other town members who remember him are not sure what to make of the boy. Bellamy, with the help of Jacob’s cousin Maggie (Devin Kelley), who was a baby when he died and is now a doctor, attempt to solve the mystery.
“The Returned” also included a resurrected boy, but that’s where the comparisons end -- at least for now. “Resurrection,” it appears, has a whole new set of characters and storylines, which will give fans of “The Returned” (like me) a reason to watch. “Resurrection” didn’t grab me the way the more ominous “The Returned” did. It wasn’t as dark or as horrifying. But I’m holding out hope. Grade: B-
“Believe,” 9 p.m. Monday, NBC (channels 6, 1006); moves to 9 p.m. Sundays on March 16.
Struggling NBC finally may have a buzzworthy drama in “Believe” if it maintains the quality and momentum of the pilot.
J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) and recent Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) are among the executive producers of the series about a 10-year-old girl (Johnny Sequoyah) who is blessed with myriad gifts, including levitation, telekinesis, precognition and more.
The trouble is some very bad people, led by Kyle Maclachlan (“Desperate Housewives,” “Portlandia”), want to exploit her powers, so the good guys, led by Delroy Lindo, take countermeasures. They break out a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate (Jake McLaughlin) and make him her protector.
Cuaron directed the pilot, which combines a neat mix of action, including the wild scene involving pigeons that has been in promos, with some tender-hearted moments. What’s extremely effective is the relationship (and chemistry) between Sequoyah and McLaughlin. You will find yourself rooting for them and hoping nothing comes between them. Grade: B+
Across the remote
* Also debuting this week is the 13-part science series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at 8 p.m. Sunday on Fox, FX, FXX , National Geographic Channel and Fox Sports 1. (See story on Page C7).
* Dr. Burke is returning to “Grey’s Anatomy.” Isaiah Washington, who was fired from the series, will return as Burke for one episode in May.
* FX renewed the animated “Archer” for two more seasons. Also receiving renewals were “Ground Floor” (TBS) and “MasterChef Junior” (Fox).
* “Glades” star Matt Passmore has lined up his next gig. He’ll front an untitled relationship drama coming to USA.
* TLC has ordered a 12-episode reality series involving Leah Remini of “King of Queens” and “The Talk” fame.