NEW YORK: Hot French zombie series The Returned won best drama at the 41st International Emmy Awards, held Monday night (Nov. 25) in New York.
Sean Bean wins best actor and Chris O'Dowd's "Moone Boy" takes best comedy, while J.J. Abrams is honored with the International Emmy's Founder award.
Sean Bean of Game of Thrones received what he said was his first-ever award, when he won the best actor honor playing a cross-dresser accused of murder in the Brit crime drama Accused. Chris O'Dowd and the creators of Irish series Moone Boy won best comedy series while Australian refugee reality series, Go Back To Where You Come From, won the International Emmy for best non-scripted series.
Rights for the fantasy-zombie show, which was created by Fabrice Gobert, have already been bought in some 40 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and throughout Latin America.
Accepting the golden trophy at the New York Hilton, producer Caroline Benjo thanked Gobert and Canal + "so daring in their choices" as well as Sundance Channel, which has just begun airing the show in the United States. She joked that all the "French zombies that didn't know they were liked, and are going to go out. Beware."The series, marking a kind of renaissance in French television, was also remarkably successful in Britain earlier this year when a subtitled version aired on Channel 4.
It notched some 1.8 million viewers, the best audience for a subtitled show in Britain since 2006.
It has been airing with subtitles on Sundance since October 31 on Sundance in the United States -- a high achievement for a French show. Some 36 nominees from 19 countries were competing in nine categories at the 41st International Emmy award ceremony, which honors the best television made outside the United States.