While the French version of “The Returned” was renewed for a second season, A&E cancelled the American adaptation of the supernatural drama after one season. The network cited declining ratings as the reason for the show’s cancellation.
Both the American and the French versions of the show share the same basic premise: in a small mountain town, deceased residents begin mysteriously returning to life, with no knowledge of their own deaths or where they have been. The original French series, itself based on the 2004 film “They Came Back,” premiered in 2012, with a second season announced for 2015. The first season of the French series won an International Emmy Award for Best Drama, also airing in the United States on SundanceTV in 2013.
The American adaptation appeared on A&E in 2015 but was not renewed for a second season. A&E announced the series’ cancellation in June due to poor ratings. The first episode of “The Returned” premiered to just 1.5 million viewers, and the show’s ratings continued to sink after that, with its final three episodes averaging under a million viewers. The show’s failure is part of a difficult trend for A&E, which has struggled with original scripted programming, cancelling both “Longmire” and “Those Who Kill” in 2014.