If you tune into TV Sunday night and aren’t watching “The Walking Dead,” you’re most likely tuned into “Resurrection” on ABC.
While all of ABC’s other shows (see below) aren’t performing spectacular on the network, the midseason premiere of “Resurrection” has been a break-out so far.
Upon its debut, the show became television’s biggest midseason drama debut in two years.
Ratings for the series have slowly been falling since the show’s March 9 debut. Still, it was the most watched show Sunday evening after NCAA basketball and “60 Minutes.” Yes, more people watched it than CBS’ shocking episode of “The Good Wife.”
Here’s how the show’s ratings look compared to the average ratings (current season) for other shows on the network right now:
It’s the sort of win ABC needs right now as the network’s ratings are currently in fourth place.
So what did the network do to pull in viewers Sunday nights?
It’s not the acting and it’s not a big-name actor.
Rather, it’s the mystery surrounding the series.
If you’ve seen any of the show’s ubiquitous marketing, “Resurrection” begins with a little boy waking up in China. Throughout the pilot episode we learn the boy, named Jacob, died 32 years earlier.
No one has any idea how he got there or why he’s alive or if the boy even is who he claims to be.
He certainly looks and sounds like the real Jacob who died years earlier. He has memories that only “Jacob” could have. Stranger is that he even remembers dying.
After you stomach all of that, we find out he’s not the only person coming back to life.
What’s the deal — are they zombies? Aliens? Is there a religious undertone? (A priest plays a pretty big role on the show.)
The answer to that question may hold the key to the show’s future success on the network. It’s obvious people are tuning in is to find out why long dead citizens of the fictional town of Arcadia, Missouri are suddenly reappearing.
However, don’t expect to get any answer to that question any time soon … or possibly ever.
The series is based on the book “The Returned” by Jason Mott. The novel was well received, but the reader never finds out why certain people come back to life. It’s more of a character study on how people would react to others returning from the dead.
As the show’s ratings are slumping downward it may end up having the same fate as similar ABC shows in the past.
Since “Lost” ended in 2010, other series surrounded in mystery debuting on the network — “V” (2009-2011) and “FlashForward” (2009-2010) — have also had big debuts but have tapered off once the audience is clued in to the “big” reveal.
While ABC may hold off on giving any answers to its show’s new premise, the future of “Resurrection” will heavily rely on how the series addresses people returning from their graves.
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