Kurtwood Smith, star of the TV series Resurrection, has had his own return-from-the-dead experience.
Smith’s apparent death was plastered over the internet, and some of the hoax pages paying tribute to the 70-year-old actor can still be found on the web.
The Hollywood veteran, whose career dates back to the early `80s (his credits include Robocop, Dead Poet’s Society and The A-Team TV series), was oblivious to his passing at the time.
He told AAP during a phone interview from Los Angeles that he found out he had died about a week after it was posted on the internet.
“By the time I heard about it, it had all been corrected,” Smith told AAP.
“I wasn’t even aware of it at the time, so I didn’t have the shock of discovering, `Oh my God, I’m dead’.
“Had I have known it would have been like, `Get my face on TV real fast, let people know I am still alive’.”
In Resurrection, the residents of Arcadia, Missouri start seeing loved ones who have returned, unaged, from the dead.
Smith plays Henry Langston, who is startled to find a boy (played by Landon Giminez) at his door, claiming to be his son Jacob.
The problem for Henry and Lucille Langston (played by Frances Fisher) is they lost their young son in an accident many years earlier.
Smith, who many may recognise as Red Forman from the hit TV series That 70s Show, wanted to be cast in Resurrection as soon as he read the script.
He said the fantasy drama series has come to life on screen exactly as he hoped it would, although that’s never a certainty in the industry.
“I loved the script and the character when I read it and the show is a really good representation of what the script originally was,” Smith told AAP.
“That doesn’t always happen and as far as the reaction goes (in the United States), it was even better than we hoped.
“People have really responded to it.”
The series launch in the US attracted 13.3 million viewers and it was highest rating show of the evening. The figures were also the best premiere for any new mid-season drama on US TV since 2012.
Smith said the show was heavily previewed during the Academy Awards coverage on the US ABC network and that helped in drawing an initial audience base.
But that promotion alone would not have been enough to sustain the audience numbers for the entire one-hour US premiere if the show had not been quality.
“I have been in situations before with shows that I have liked which somehow didn’t catch on,” Smith said.
“ABC gave us a tremendous roll-out and they have given us a lot of promotion, starting with the Oscar’s coverage and billboards.
“You can still do all that and people are still not interested in the show for some reason but with this, they are.”
He said the series could potentially run for years as there are so many story arcs available because new characters come in all the time.
Resurrection will follow a pay-TV format, with only 13 episodes ordered per season.
“It’s not down to a couple of characters, like so many shows today which are procedural police dramas… Our show doesn’t do that,” Smith said.
“There’s quite a variety of things that happen in the town, and you can imagine the various things that can develop, and that’s what makes it interesting for people.”
* Resurrection starts in Tuesday, March 25 at 8.45pm on the Seven Network