The series was based on a trilogy of novels by Justin Cronin and executive-produced by Liz Heldens. The ensemble cast included Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Henry Ian Cusick. It told the story of a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race, the orphaned girl who was chosen to be a test subject (Sidney), and the federal agent trying to protect her (Gosselaar). According to Heldens, Season 2 would have jumped about a hundred years into the future.
The show enjoyed generally positive reviews and strong ratings at the outset, but viewrship totals declined each week, with the finale clocking the lowest ratings of the season. Plus, Fox is cutting costs and giving over more of its schedule to sports, which put The Passage at a disadvantage for renewal.