Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This weekly, 60-minute sci-fi/fantasy series was based on a novel by Stephen King, previously filmed in 1983 with Christopher Walken in the lead. Anthony Michael Hall, who (in this instance, at least) bore a remarkable resemblance to Walken, starred as schoolteacher Johnny Smith, who spent several years in a coma after surviving a terrible auto accident. Upon awakening, Johnny realized that his ESP abilities, which had been mild at best before the accident, have been amplified to an astonishing degree. In fact, Johnny now possessed the ability to read a person's mind -- and that person's future -- simply by touching hands. Naturally, this gift turned out to be both blessing and curse, depending upon the touchee. As reconceived by series creator Michael Piller, the TV version of The Dead Zone had a somewhat lighter touch than the original novel and earlier theatrical film. The series debuted June 16, 2002, over the USA cable network.