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Kevin Burns, the prolific Emmy-winning producer of reality and nonfiction TV programs who guided the 2006 big-screen remake of The Poseidon Adventure and the reboot of Lost in Space at Netflix, has died. He was 65.
The president and creator of Prometheus Entertainment, Burns died Sunday of cardiac arrest at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Derek Thielges, vp marketing and development at the company, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Prometheus is the home of the long-running documentary-style History series Ancient Aliens as well as Food Paradise, The UnXplained with William Shatner, The Curse of Oak Island and many other shows.
Burns during his career also produced, wrote and/or directed produced Star Wars television docs and several Playboy-centered reality programs, including The Girls Next Door, Kendra on Top and Hef’s Runaway Bride.
He won a Primetime Emmy in 2002 for producing a new version of Biography and received a Daytime Emmy a year later for producing Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s, hosted by David Bowie. Both AMC programs were produced by Van Ness Films, which he founded in 1994.
In 1999, Burns partnered with Jon Jashni to launch Synthesis Entertainment, and they developed and produced remakes and sequels of Irwin Allen-produced projects like Poseidon (2006), a 2006 Time Tunnel telefilm and the Lost in Space reboot that premiered in 2018.
Burns also was known for locating and restoring the original Lost in Space robot from the original 1965-68 CBS series. In a Facebook post, actor-musician Billy Mumy, who played Will Robinson on that show, called Burns “without a doubt among the most multitalented, generous, capable, loyal and loving friends I’ve ever known.
“Kevin and I spoke almost every day for the last 30 years. We bickered like an old married couple, and we always knew we loved each other. He made a lot of people very happy. I will not forget all the blessings that he brought to my family. R.I.P. Kevbo.”
Burns produced more than 800 hours of television programming that aired on such networks as AMC, History, WEtv, A&E, Travel Channel, E!, Bravo, Animal Planet and National Geographic.
Born on June 18, 1955, Burns was raised in Niskayuna, New York, and studied film at Hamilton College and Boston University, where he received his master’s degree in 1981. Also that year, he won a Student Academy Award for best short film for I Remember Barbra, in which Brooklyn residents reminisce about native daughter Barbra Streisand.
He came to Los Angeles in 1988 to take a job in marketing and promotion at 20th Century Fox Television, then co-founded Foxstar Productions in 1993 and executive produced three Alien Nation telefilms. He left the company to launch Prometheus six years later.
His credits also included Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, which he co-produced with Superman Returns director Bryan Singer; Spider-Man Tech; Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest; Batman Unmasked; Batman Tech; The Valkyrie Legacy, his second co-production with Singer; and Angels & Demons: Decoded.
Survivors include his niece, Jill.
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