I have a thought or two about this threat to reboot ‘Lost.’ I’m sure you’re surprised.

Quick poll of my Lost friends: Do you want to see a Lost reboot?

As I very briefly mentioned earlier in the week, during the Television Critics Association meeting, the new head of ABC said that she would “very much” like a Lost reboot, adding: “It’s literally at this point just what I dream about when I go to bed at night. I have not spoken to Carlton or J.J. or ABC Studios about it. But I do often get asked the question what show would I reboot and often my answer is Lost— sometimes Alias. Nothing to report yet. Maybe ever. But it would be a fun thing to have a conversation about.”

The idea of a Lost reboot is brought up almost every year, especially now that reboots are a minor trend, but until a script is ordered or a pilot is being developed, it’s not happening. My guess is no such project will happen until Disney’s streaming service is up and running and has a large subscriber base for reasons I will get into. But because people were just agitated by the question being posed in the first place …

The internet was split on the idea, with some just flat saying ABSOLUTELY NOT.

This guy argues that a reboot is undoable in a post-Game of Thrones, bingeable television landscape:

But others were much more enthusiastic about the idea:

And others took issue with the word “reboot,” suggesting they would be open to a sequel or prequel, which is what Cuse and Lindelof themselves had said they could imagine happening (but not with their involvement). Last year, Carlton Cuse told The Hollywood Reporter: “I would be fine if ABC hired somebody who 
had a good idea [to reboot it] involving other characters that go to the island at some other point 
in time. I would be less excited if they wanted to use the characters that we had in our show.”

My two cents as someone who has a thought or two about Lost is that a Lost-related series, whether as a sequel, prequel or reboot, is inevitable … and just as inevitable, it will be a disappointment to Lost fans. Lost was ABC’s last real cultural phenomena — it’s arguable that it was network television’s last scripted “water cooler” show — and I’m sure in ABC’s minds not doing something with this property one day would be just leaving money on the table.

The problem is that the same elements that made Lost such a cultural touchstone for television viewers just don’t exist anymore. Television audiences have never been more fragmented or distracted, broadcast TV isn’t the social hub that it used to be, and most importantly, Cuse and Lindelof have insisted that they have told the story they wanted to tell about the Island. As we have seen time and time and TIME AND TIME AND TIME again, networks aren’t great at creating mystery box shows: FlashForward, The Event, The Crossing, fucking Manifest, they’re all failures (at least creatively) because they don’t have a team like Lindelof and Cuse working to thread together engaging narratives with deeper philosophical and allegorical themes. And even if there are talented writers and showrunners out there who could do that, the networks would never trust them to create something as weird and demanding as Lost was for primetime network audiences today. There’s a reason series like Westworld, The Leftovers, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Haunting of Hill House, Atlanta, etc. etc. etc. aren’t on network television — and it’s not just because of the more lax rules about language, nudity, and violence. Cable networks and streaming services have more trust in their audiences and what their audiences can handle because their audiences aren’t as broad as networks’ are.

But, as I said, I still expect that a Lost-adjacent series will happen one day. Despite the network throwing around the word “reboot,” I doubt they would recreate the adventures of the passengers of Flight 815. Instead, I predict if we ever do revisit the Island, it will be with new characters — preferably characters who arrive there sometime after the events on the original series as I think the history of the Island was well-explored already. I have surrendered to the idea that this will happen at some point, and I have surrendered to the fact that I will absolutely watch every single episode and I have surrendered to the acceptance that I will most likely be disappointed in a thousand different ways.

All that said, I am not completely negative about a new Lost-related series, and I do have a glimmer of hope it could work as long as ABC abides by a couple of things: 1. ABC would need to figure out how to maximize and build on the binge-watching phenomena to keep the show alive. A show like Lost is a natural for binge-watching, loaded heavy with cliff-hangers, mysteries, and story-telling that encourages you to keep watching just … one … more … episode. Unfortunately, network TV doesn’t really offer that as an option and so ABC would need to partner with a decent streaming service — and they would need to have patience. Lifetime’s series YOU, for instance, was canceled by Lifetime after only one season only to go on to find a large audience on Netflix. Had they waited to pull the plug on the series, a second season on Lifetime might have lured some of those audiences back to the cable network that discovered the show on Netflix. The CW did this with Riverdale and saw a huge jump in viewership in their second season. The launch of Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, could facilitate this, but like I said, it would require patience and time.

More importantly, a Lost-related series can only work if 2. the creators and writers and the network come to it with an understanding of what made Lost the series that it was: that what made it great and compelling was not the mysteries of the Island, but the mysteries of the characters and their interconnectedness. In the end, what the finale was trying to say was that the Island brought these people together because they needed one another. Despite my shitting on other mystery box series above, there are some mystery box shows that have worked quite well in recent years, and notably, they fall into two categories: emotional dramas like This is Us and A Million Little Things and supernatural comedies like The Good Place and my recent obsession, Russian Doll. I would argue that all four of these series work as well as they do because they are all telling the same story Lost told — that we are sometimes the biggest mysteries to those who love us — and to ourselves — and that ultimately, the greatest adventure, the meaning of life is to find your people: those people who love you, who understand you, who save you. If the creative focus is on this, on the mystery of our interconnectedness, it might just work.

Speaking of Russian Doll, here are a bunch of easter eggs to look for the next time you watch. The lottery one is my favorite.

“Sweet birthday baby!”

Ariana Grande will not be performing at the Grammy’s this weekend and she is NOT HAVING The Grammy’s lies about why she pulled out of the show.

Stage 25 at Warner Brothers Studios has been officially named after The Big Bang Theory.

In addition to their tribute to him today, The Young and the Restless is going to devote an entire storyline to Kristoff St. John, set to begin in April. Interesting.

In honor of Supernatural’s 300th episode, here is Eric Kripke’s original pitch for the show:

And this person watched episode 300 without having seen a single episode of Supernatural. My favorite comment: “Whoa, I had no idea that’s what Jensen Ackles sounds like. He sounds like a Lone Star and plate of brisket. He sounds like he should end every sentence with ‘Go Longhorns.'”

Again, this isn’t a television story, but how about this Bezos/National Enquirer mess, guys? Long story short: the National Enquirer published private texts between Jeff Bezos and his then mistress, and Bezos wanted to know how they attained them. His private investigator started poking around, and must have disturbed something dangerous to The National Enquirer’s published AMI, because they then threatened — VIA EMAIL, THE DUMMIES — to release nude pictures of Jeff Bezos they also stole from his phone if he didn’t 1. stop the investigation and 2. release a public statement claiming that the original story The National Enquirer published wasn’t politically motivated.

But, instead of giving into AMI’s demands, Bezos done published the emails and dared them to release the photos. LOLOLOL.

Anyway, keep your eyes on this one because it could ultimately be linked back to the White House (remember when Trump was asking his people how they could “fuck with [Bezos]” a few months ago?) and the Saudis and I suspect this story is going to get crazier. Bezos’ team has told The Washington Post that they believe a “government entity” accessed Bezos’ texts and photos — which WHOA IF TRUE.

Also, this story opened a very dangerous door for AMI that other celebrities and reporters are marching through. Ronan Farrow, The Daily Beast, and some A.P. reporters are already coming forward with their own stories about AMI’s attempted blackmail. They won’t be the last.

Time’s Up

Woody Allen is suing Amazon for $68 million for breaching their contract, canceling it after accusations that he molested his daughter Dylan Farrow reemerged.

The BAFTAs have stripped Bryan Singer of his nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody. Good.

Michael Ian Black feels bad about supporting Louis C.K.’s return to standup and is being more introspective about his response than Louis C.K. has been about ANYTHING.

Conservatives are calling the Jimmys out for not making jokes about Ralph Northam and blackface, pointing out that both Fallon and Kimmel did blackface earlier in their careers.

Pixar released a new short film and they aren’t saying it’s about John Lasseter and what it feels like to work in a toxic environment but … judge for yourself:

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Doom Patrol debuts on DC Universe on February 15.

R.I.P.

Albert Finney, Actor

Frank Robinson, Baseball Hall of Famer and the first African-American manager in the MLB

Bob Massi, Fox News contributor

Emiliano Sala, Soccer player

Rocky Lockridge, Boxer and guest on Intervention whose appearance went viral

WATCH THIS

FRIDAY

One Day at a Time: Hey, this is back! Season premiere. Netflix

Pen15: This looks like a live-action Big Mouth with female protagonists and I am here for it. Series premiere Hulu

White Dragon: John Simm — who is not some Martin Freeman, but I forgive you for thinking that even though I certainly did not, don’t be stupid — stars in this new thriller series about a man who discovers his wife had a secret life in Hong Kong? Sure. Season premiere.  Amazon

2 Dope Queens: The ladies are back and not a moment too soon. Season premiere. 10 p.m., HBO

Hell’s Kitchen: A winner is chosen. Season finale. 7 p.m., Fox

Big Mouth: Speaking of Big Mouth, they are releasing a special Valentine’s Day episode out of nowhere. Netflix

High Flying Bird: A sports agent gets ideas and makes trouble in this Steven Soderbergh movie. Netflix

SATURDAY

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: The Mister Rogers documentary that I insist you watch. 7 p.m., HBO

Game of Thrones marathon: It’s just season one, and not the entire series, but still. 8 a.m., HBO2

Saturday Night Live: Halsey. Just, Halsey. 10:30 p.m., NBC

SUNDAY

The Walking Dead: Oh great, this is back. Mid-season premiere. 8 p.m., AMC

The Grammys: Musicians give each other prizes. 7 p.m., CBS

The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Which country is Hasan going to piss off this season? Season premiere. Netflix

Deadly Cults: I LOVE CULTS. Or, rather, I love shows about cults. I should be clearer, I guess. Series premiere. 7 p.m., Oxygen

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Friday): Rebel Wilson, Willie Geist, Nathan Macintosh, Erykah Badu
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: (Friday): Liam Neeson
  • Watch What Happens Live (Sunday): Andy’s Favorite ATL Moments
FRI. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown 20/20
(new)
CBS Big Brother: Celebrity Edition
(new)
Blue Bloods
(new)
CW Dynasty
(new)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
(new)
Local
FOX Hell’s Kitchen
(new)
Hell’s Kitchen
(new)
Local
NBC Blindspot
(new)
The Blacklist
(new)
Dateline
(repeat)

SAT. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
ABC NBA Basketball
(live)
News/Local
CBS AAF Football
(live)
News/Local
FOX 9-1-1
(repeat)
The Resident
(repeat)
News/Local
NBC America’s Got Talent Saturday Night Live
(repeat)
News/Local Saturday Night Live
(Halsey)

SUN. 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
(repeat)
America’s Funniest Home Videos
(repeat)
Shark Tank
(repeat)
Shark Tank
(repeat)
CBS Grammy Red Carpet
(live)
The 61st Grammy Awards
(new)
The CW Local Supergirl
(repeat)
Charmed
(repeat)
Local
FOX The Simpsons
(repeat)
Bob’s Burgers
(repeat)
The Simpsons
(new)
Bob’s Burgers
(new)
Family Guy
(new)
The Cool Kids
(repeat)
Local/News

 

NBC Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Dateline
(repeat)

 

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