With LOST firmly in his rear view mirror and his film work slowing down a bit, writer/producer/showrunner Damon Lindelof is finally stepping back into the world of television. Deadline reports that Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta have received a pilot order at HBO for their new show The Leftovers, based on Perrotta's 2011 book of the same name.
The show is a riff on the idea of The Rapture (when Jesus Christ returns to Earth to bring his followers to heaven), and - like the famous "Left Behind" series - this story follows the people who were, ahem, left behind. There isn't any mention of religion in the descriptions of The Leftovers, though, so that could make the show more palatable for those who prefer science fiction to sermons.
The show had been groomed for HBO for months, so it's no surprise the pay cable network scooped up the pilot. The concept sounds interesting, and with Lindelof's pedigree when it comes to creating an evolving and lasting mystery on television, I have a feeling this show will be around for at least a couple of seasons.
Here's the full synopsis, via Amazon:
What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?
That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.
Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.
With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.