Zombies. The living dead. Eaters of the medulla oblongata. Whatever you want to call them, quasi-deceased human beings are the in-thing right now, primarily thanks to the runaway success of the AMC hit drama 'The Walking Dead.' Now in its fourth season, the cable adaptation of Robert Kirkman's popular comic book series seems to break ratings records with every new episode, so its no wonder that other TV networks want in on that sweet zombie cash. French series 'The Returned' is on the docket for an American adaptation, ABC will debut 'Resurrection' in early 2014, and now NBC is joining the undead fray. Fittingly, their plan is to resurrect a long dead CBS pilot called 'Babylon Fields.'
Starring names like Ray Stevenson, Amber Tamblyn, David Patrick Kelly, and Jamey Sheridan, 'Babylon Fields' takes place in the titular town of Babylon, New York. It's a seemingly quiet, peaceful place, that is until the local cemetery starts seeing multiple vacancies open up. These zombies aren't of the flesh devouring variety however, all they seem to want is to reunite with their families and resume the lives that were previously interrupted by that little inconvenience called death. Of course, not only good folks came back, and the time spent in the grave didn't do anything to change already dangerous people.
If you think that sounds pretty much like the aforementioned 'Returned,' you're not alone. The original film that inspired that series, 'They Came Back,' came out in 2004, three years before 'Babylon Fields' was given the greenlight. We obviously can't know for sure if one influenced the other, but it could certainly be a possibility. 'Babylon's pilot generated lots of positive buzz going into the 2007-2008 TV season, but was ultimately passed on by CBS. Shortly afterward, the complete episode was leaked online, and quickly became a cult hit among those who checked it out.
NBC's version of 'Babylon Fields' will be entirely new, with an all new cast and possibly a reworked script. Overseeing the project is former 'Homeland' producer Michael Cuesta, who was also the man behind the original pilot. Also returning are writers Gerald Cuesta and Michael Atkinson. NBC has yet to release details about when the new pilot will enter production, or when we can expect it to air.
You can watch the complete original 'Babylon Fields' pilot here.