Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lost showrunners

In Written By magazine, Matt Hoey talks to Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, showrunners on TV series Lost (created by Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof).
“So, this thing just happened with J.J. Abrams and they're giving us a shitload of money to write this crazy pilot about a plane crash on an island,” Lindelof remembers telling Cuse in 2004, “and we're going to write it, but they're never going to do it.”

This was during one night in a long-running series of meals at their favorite Mexican restaurant, gossip sessions shared by peers and close friends. They'd been getting together for years. Their relationship began when Cuse read a spec script by an unknown while showrunning his '90s cop series Nash Bridges.

So let's go back: “I was talking to Damon's agent,” Cuse recalls, still amused by the memory of their first encounter. “The agent was saying they have this young writer they were just starting to represent: 'We're very excited about him.' I said, 'Does he have any original material?' and they were, like, 'Let us get back to you.'” Days passed and the agency contacted Cuse again: “Well, we've got a one-act play we can send over.” Cuse immediately responded to Ollie Klublershturf vs. the Nazis: “The pages were funny and well-written, and I was extremely impressed. And then Damon came in and was equally impressive in person, and we just hit it off.” The back story? “Little did I know that Damon wrote this original material for the purpose of the meeting.”
Photo: Walt Disney Company Ltd / Channel 4

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