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Veteran producer suing ABC, saying he created Lost over 30 years ago

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 14th 2009 12:26PM
Lost logoI think most hit TV shows are sued at one point or another by someone who claims to have actually created the show. Usually it's someone unknown, but once in a while you get a real producer or writer with several credits who claims to have created the show. This is one of those cases.

Anthony Spinner, who among other credits produced and/or wrote for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Cannon, Search,The FBI, Return of the Saint, and Baretta, is suing both ABC and Touchstone Television, saying that he created (and was paid $30,000 for) a show that is very similar to Lost way back in 1977. He actually sued back in 2005 but the case was dismissed for procedural reasons.

TMZ has a link to a PDF of the lawsuit, but some of the similarities that Spinner mentions are a plane headed to L.A. that crashes onto an island, a doctor on board the plane, a character named Kate, a group of people already living on the island called "The Primitives," and the use of flashbacks to show the lives of the survivors before the crash. He submitted the script three times to ABC over the years but they passed on it each time.

Notice the year though: 1977! Isn't that the year many of our Oceanic 815 heroes found themselves trapped in, having to become part of the Dharma Initative? I don't want to say time travel was involved, but it certainly looks like time travel was involved.

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Jim McKee

Sorry, nothing witty comes to mind (esp. compared to some of the funny remarks from other commenters)...

This guy is grasping at straws... and they are some pretty damn flimsy straws at that.


July 15 2009 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Or Gilligan.

July 15 2009 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like no one ever thought of doing a show about people stranded on an island!

Let's sue William Golding.

And what about Daniel Dafoe?

July 14 2009 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment

...or Sherwood Schwartz...

July 14 2009 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the irony of this is that someone already sued about creating Lost - and won. He wrote the original script for the show, and the judge ruled that his script had enough similarities to the finished product that he should get a creator credit. He currently makes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year even though he never did any work on the show.


July 14 2009 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great!!! Can Mr. Spinner give us any spoilers on how the last season ends?

July 14 2009 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's all staged and will eventually tie into the show somehow. ;)

July 14 2009 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm surprised this lawsuit isn't being done by some nobody loser nobody has ever heard of. To hear that Anthony Spinner is claiming Lost was an idea stolen from him is a pretty serious accusation. If this all turns out to be true, it could be the biggest story out of the TV industry since it was discovered that reality TV shows have scripts and multiple takes.

July 14 2009 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fox should sue Barack Obama because they had an idea for a black president in 2001 with 24.

July 14 2009 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KIrsch's comment

What ever studio that made Deep Impact and Morgan Freeman should sue Fox and Barack Obama.

July 14 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it's also worth noting that the network exec who greenlit LOST was FIRED for that decision, due to the cost (word is he basically greenlit the show as a final F-you to ABC).

Frankly, I don't see any grounds for a lawsuit here. Similar (very similar) ideas, yes, but unfortunately sometimes it just isn't the right idea at the right time. Also, if we're talking plagarism . . . please, come on. There's too much about that show to reinforce the fact that creators Lindelof and Cuse are the forces behind the story. And finally, a show about survivors of a plane crash? Like no one's ever had THAT idea before.

July 14 2009 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hurley created LOST!

July 14 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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