27. LOST 

Created by Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof  

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Aired: ABC, 2004-2010

A pastiche of genres – sci-fi, James Bond movies, action, adventure, and thriller – co-mingled to intoxicating effect on Lost. Creators Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof, working with veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse, pushed the idea of how much narrative ground you could cover in television, creating two dual tracks of storytelling – the action and mystery of his characters’ present limbo state on a tropical island versus the more grounding reveal of their pasts, done via flashback. This ingenuous structure worked both as drama and metaphor. The emotional and psychological mapping of the characters conversed with the show’s more elusive map – the one that would get the castaways off the island.

Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof on the challenges of writing Lost 

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