Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and banana bread.
WHY DOESN'T DISNEY+ DO A SHOW SET IN THE WORLD OF 'LOST?'
The Borg-like content factory that is the Disney Corporation is doing everything it can to make Disney+ a success. Including ordering a bunch of spin-off series or refreshed reboots of many of its familiar properties. There are new Star Wars-inspired TV shows, new Marvel series, an updated "Lizzie McGuire" and even a new "Phineas & Ferb" movie. Every possible piece of intellectual property owned by the massive media company is being considered as the starting point for new projects that will be produced specifically for Disney+. So given that, why isn't Disney considering a spin-off series of one of its most iconic television shows?
"Lost" aired for six seasons between 2005 and 2010, and while the audience for the series had dipped significantly by the final season, it is a show that continues to a large base of passionate fans. Even better for our purposes, it has a large pool of dedicated fans who are equally split over their happiness/unhappiness about how the show ended.
If you're not super familiar with the series, here's a quick overview. The series centers around the survivors of a plane who survive after it crashes on a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. Over the course of the six seasons, a mind-numbing collection of supernatural and sometimes just odd people and situations are introduced. Including a mysterious Dharma Initiative, which seems to have been conducting experiments on the island for decades. By season six, there are dual timelines and mysterious battles between good and evil that will impact the future of the island. The series finale ends with some of the survivors and other characters from the island "moving on" to what is apparently the afterlife.
Not surprisingly, this ending did not please many of the fans who were more interested in the mythology than in seeing the island as some metaphor for purgatory. I think it's fair to say that for better or worse, there are a lot of "Lost" fans in the #TeamMythology camp who would like to see the world of the Island explored in more detail. And that's where a new show would come into the picture.
So what would a "Lost" spin-off series look like? Well, one possibility would be the storyline that the "Lost" co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse laid out in the 12-minute long epilogue "The New Man in Charge," which was released on the season six DVD collection. The short contained two storylines and both of them build on the backstory of the original series. In segment one, Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) visits two Dharma Initiative workers in a warehouse in Guam. He shuts down their operation, which had been shipping packages and food to the Island. He tells them the Dharma Initiative has not been in existence for over twenty years. And before he shuts down the warehouse for good, he shows them a DVD presentation from the Dharma Initiative that explains some of the events that took place on the Island (including the reason for the polar bears).
Segment two has Ben visiting the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he convinces an institutionalized Walt to leave with him. Once they reach Ben's van, they find Hurley and he tells Walt it's time for them to return to the island. As the three men drive off, Hurley also tells Walt he might have a job for him.
Some of the footage was apparently originally set to air as part of the television series, but regardless of why it never aired, it's clear Lindelof and Cuse had at least considered what "Lost" might have looked like had it continued past "The End." And Disney+ could certainly try and lure back some of the original cast, in an effort to cobble together some faux "Lost" sequel series.
But I'd like to see any potential spin-off series be as ambitious as the original incarnation. Create some new characters and storylines that would fit into the familiar "Lost" mythology while not trying to just update the original classic. It's the difference between "Enterprise" and "Star Trek: Discovery." Both of those shows cover some of the same ground, but "Discovery" reinvented the mythology in a way that respected the original while not simply being a cover band version of the source material. I have my ideas of what that might look like, but my theories about the show don't matter. What does matter is that a confident writer with stones the size of Buicks can successfully bring back The Island while still dealing with the inevitable friendly fire that will be headed their way for daring to take on the project.
That passion is why bringing back the "Lost" universe makes sense for Disney+. Like some other familiar Disney-owned properties, "Lost" already has a built-in fanbase and one that is passionate and often pushy. In other words, these are exactly the people who would obsess over every episode of a new "Lost" series and would write (or rant) about every new episode. The only thing that would more controversial than a "Lost" inspired series would be one featuring Jar Jar Binks as a secret Sith Lord. And given the latter will likely never happen, let's go with some more adventures on The Island.
Here is a rundown of the new shows premiering today....
1) America's Got Talent Season Premiere (NBC)
With the show open to acts of all ages, "America's Got Talent" continues to celebrate the variety format like no other show on television. Year after year the show features an impressive array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars – all vying to win America's hearts and a $1 million prize.
2) Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery (ID)
Brittany Murphy is a rising star who had it all, beauty, fame, and success … but she also had secrets. When she is found dead in her Los Angeles home at just 32 years old, Hollywood and legions of fans are left in disbelief. While her autopsy reveals that she died of natural causes, many believe foul play is involved. Details of her life and death emerge after her husband, Simon Monjack, and mother, Sharon Murphy, embark on a bizarre media blitz, creating more questions than answers. Then, within months, Monjack perishes under strikingly similarly circumstances – in the same bed he and Brittany once shared, only this time, allegedly with Brittany’s mother sleeping beside him. In an exclusive final interview, the late Angelo Bertolotti, Brittany’s father, casts doubt on the conclusion that she died of natural causes and reveals bizarre allegations against other family members. Featured in the special are intimate interviews, in-depth access to forensic details and alternative explanations about the cause of death.
3) Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix)
Emmy and Peabody award winning comedian Hannah Gadsby stopped the comedy world in its tracks with her genre bending show, Nanette. Having given herself her very own tough act to follow, Gadsby decided to name her difficult second album after one of her dogs in the hopes he could inspire comedy obedience. Did it work?
4) The Genetic Detective Series Premiere (ABC)
This news series follows investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore and her work with DNA technology company Parabon NanoLabs. Moore and her team are revolutionizing crime solving by working with police departments and accessible crime scene DNA to help trace the path of a criminal suspect’s family tree, uncover their identity and bring them to justice.
5) World Of Dance Season Premiere (NBC)
To begin the season, contestants now arrive at a warehouse under the impression that they’re performing their final audition for a panel of producers. In a surprise twist, hopeful acts will walk onto the dance floor to realize that the Qualifiers have already begun and our “World of Dance” judges are there to determine if they have what it takes to make it to the next round. The judges will each give a yes vote, no vote, or Callback vote. If placed in the Callbacks, acts will have one last chance to perform and earn their spot in the next round.
For a rundown of all the new episodes of television premiering tonight, click here.
TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.
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