If you die on television, chances are waning that you will stay permanently dead. In the midst of a string of back-from-the-beyond shows (Resurrection, The Returned), the zombies are not about to be left out. Virginia Madsen’s career will continue its own resurrection (following recent appearances in shows like Witches Of East End) in Babylon Fields, a new undead-themed NBC pilot. According to TV Club editor Todd VanDerWerff, Babylon Fields is actually based on an unsold 2007 pilot for CBS, in which “The dead return to earth in an attempt to restore old wounds” (plot as listed on IMDB). The current resurgence in zombie interest, kicked off in 2010 with AMC’s The Walking Dead, has brought new life to this pilot as well. Writer of the 2007 film, Gerald Cuesta, is back on board to expand his original effort, as is his brother Michael (Homeland, Dexter) to direct. (According to IMDB, Picket Fences star Kathy Baker was the biggest name in the 2007 pilot, which also lists such roles as “Dead Woman,” “Living Dead Man,” and “Lead Zombie.”)
Madsen plays the mother of a Center For Disease Control scientist that she tries to lure back to Babylon, N.Y., the place where zombies actually heal themselves (and their family issues, presumably), foretelling what “might be the next step in human evolution,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show will also feature Skeet Ulrich (familiar with small-town troubles from his turn in Jericho), in the dual role of a minister and his twin brother, a junkie who returns from the dead. Kyle Schmid will appear in the series as the CDC scientist, along with Deception’s Meagan Good, Luck’s Ritchie Coster, and Magic City’s Yul Vazquez, but they, like Madsen, only get to play one part.