Attention Lost fans: there's an interesting article by David Bernstein in the new issue of Chicago Magazine about Jeffrey Leiber, who is listed in the credits as a co-creator of the show. Here's a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:
The ABC series Lost is the sort of extraordinary hit that TV dreams are made of.
Centering on a band of plane-crash survivors marooned on a mysterious island, Lost has mixed sci-fi and plot twists into a huge phenomenon, attracting millions of viewers and propelling ABC out of a long prime-time ratings slump. When fans tune in to the show for the start of its fourth season in February 2008, one of the names they will see rolling in the opening credits as co-creator is Jeffrey Lieber. That’s Jeffrey Lieber, Evanston Township High School, class of ’87; U. of I., class of ’91.
Lieber’s success should lend itself to a heartwarming tale about a local kid who defied odds and made it big in show business. But the story is not that simple. In the Chutes & Ladders world that is Hollywood, Lieber finds his biggest triumph discomfiting. The network fired him after he wrote Lost’s original series pilot. He doesn’t know the crew or cast. He has never visited the writers’ offices for the show and never set foot on the set in Hawaii, where much of the series is shot. Lieber won his credit only after a fight for recognition with ABC.
Nobody needs to feel sorry for Jeffrey Lieber: because of that successful arbitration, Lost has served him quite well financially. But he finds that a hollow victory. "It’s money for therapy," he says, with a laugh.
Read the rest here.