New ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke on Tuesday made her debut before the Television Critics Association and surprised the press corps with comments that she would “very much” like to reboot Lost.
Following a humorous introduction by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Burke shared that ABC was the network that made her want to work in the television business. Among her goals was to focus on shows that are similar to programming that she called the “soul of ABC” similar to some of its top hits. She then kicked it to a video that included clips from iconic series including Lost, NYPD Blue, Bewitched, The Wonder Years, The Ellen Show and Desperate Housewives, among others. But it was the Lost clip — which opened the video with Jack’s famous “we have to go back” scene — that drew particular attention.
When asked if the scene revealed some of her plans for the network, Burke quipped, “Yes, I would like that [a reboot] very much. That is a reboot I would be interested in seeing.”
Pressed after her time onstage, Burke told The Hollywood Reporter that there are no current plans to revive Lost.
“It’s literally at this point just what I dream about when I go to bed at night,” she said. “I have not spoken to [executive producers] Carlton [Cuse] or J.J. [Abrams] 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.”
Cuse raised eyebrows in August 2017 when he returned to ABC Studios with a four-year overall deal. Since then, speculation has swirled around whether he would ever go back to the island.
In a Creative Space interview with THR in August, Cuse revealed that he has no interest in being part of a Lost revival.
“[Co-creator] Damon [Lindelof] and I have always been adamant that we told the story that we wanted to tell,” he said. “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.”
For her part, Burke remains open to additional reboots — she is in the midst of bringing NYPD Blue back to the network with a sequel of sorts now in the pilot stage — but noted that there has to be a reason to do it.
“They have to have a reason for standing on their own — they aren’t going backwards but going forward,” Burke told reporters, singling out Freeform’s newly ordered Party of Five reboot with a deportation twist as the prime example of the type of revival she’d like. (Burke developed the new Party of Five during her run as head of originals at Disney’s younger-skewing cable network.)
In terms of ABC’s big picture, Burke remains committed to bringing women back to the network after NBC — thanks largely to This Is Us — took over as broadcast’s leader in the demo. She noted Grey’s Anatomy will, naturally, be back for a 16th season. (Star Ellen Pompeo remains under contract despite a lack of formal renewal.) The exec also pointed to ABC’s current pilot roster as being more “female-forward” than what predecessor Channing Dungey had picked up in the past year or two.