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Out of all the most famous TV islands that could get a big TV return in the last few months, who could have predicted it'd be USA Network's Temptation Island revival? Many mystery fans probably would have preferred to see ABC putting audiences back on a doomed Oceanic flight for a Lost reboot or revival. Many elements stand in the way of that possibility, but a potential Lost comeback has a cheerleader the still-new ABC President Karey Burke. Here's what she said at TCA this week.
Don't go packing your bags just yet, Jack and Kate fans. The reboot plane isn't anywhere near the runway yet, and it's currently just a idealized fantasy at this point. But whenever that idealized fantasy is one hovering in the mind of the most important network exec that makes such decisions, it automatically has a better shot of coming into existence.
While setting up her executive session at the 2019 Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Karey Burke played a video that spoke to all of her favorite ABC series from the past few decades. There were many emotional beats and romantic reminders of shows such as Moonlighting and Grey's Anatomy, and Burke also talked about loving shows that broke the rules but still had something to say behind it all, like The Wonder Years and thirtysomething. So there are certainly lots of past ABC series that Burke could be thinking about bringing back.
However, everyone in the TCA crowd was extremely cognizant of how the video started – with Lost's Jack and Kate. In particular, with the big-bearded Jack fretting in the real world about having to go back to the island. "Kate, we have to go back!" It would only take a small amount of audio tomfoolery to turn that into, "Karey Burke, we have to go back!"
When asked if journalists should read into the video having started off in that way, Burke jokingly said, "You should, yes," before humorously shaking her head. So close!
At this point, fans probably shouldn't be hoping to recite numbers in the hatch with Hurley by the end of the year. With another less monumental TV series from years past, spinning a remake out of it might not be so difficult. (Would there be much hair-pulling over a Townies or a Daybreak do-over?) But because Lost was such a major pop culture artifact that locked TV fans into the internet generation, and because its narrative was bafflingly complicated and existentially swampy, it has often been deemed impossible to recreate.
That doesn't mean Lost will go the rest of time without someone else trying to crack the code on how to bring it back to primetime in a successful way. We almost definitely won't see original co-creators Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof returning to craft any reboots' outlines. Lindelof in particular has basically laid it out that he doesn't want to return to that particular universe, as much as he may love it. (He's busy reshaping things on HBO's Watchmen anyway.)
However, if Karey Burke wants more Lost bad enough, she'll probably try to make it happen. So let's just hope the ends up finding the right people to do it.