5 Lost Ripoffs That Failed or Flailed

When Lost premiered in 2004, there was a chance that the series could change television forever. In a certain sense, it did -- the show ushered in several more dramas that emulated Lost's winning formula of flashbacks, mythology, and diverse casting -- and yet many of the would-be heirs to Lost's throne didn't last a season, and the few that are still around today are struggling as Lost barrels toward its conclusion. Here are five that tried and failed to unseat the big daddy of serialized storytelling:



Premiere Date: September 21, 2005

Summary: Nearly a year after Lost debuted came Invasion, the first series to capitalize on it -- so much so that it even got the time slot following Lost. Still, this William Fichtner-Eddie Cibrian alien invasion drama was hamstrung by several elements: a slow beginning, a hurricane-heavy series premiere that ABC became wary of in the wake of that year's Hurricane Katrina, and that once-attractive time slot. Turns out, Lost fans weren't always in the mood to watch another mythology-rich show afterwards, preferring instead to hash out the island drama online or with friends. It was a lesson ABC would learn all too late.

Number of Episodes Produced: 22


The Nine

Premiere Date: October 4, 2006

Summary: The next series to follow Lost eschewed the show's sci-fi elements but retained its sprawling cast, flashback-based structure, and heavily serialized nature. The Nine's pilot seemed promising -- nine strangers survive a bank heist, with glimpses to come throughout the series on how it happened -- but later episodes were hemmed in by the high concept. The Nine failed to pick up an audience and never made it to a second season, but would it have abandoned its premise if it had?

Number of Episodes Produced: 13

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  • badblokebob says:

    FlashForward is just like Lost: half-great pilot, then fast downhill into rubbishness.

  • stolidog says:

    I actually guite liked Invasion...I think it was plucked before its time, but that happens all the time I guess.
    I still watch heroes, and its the most painful experience.
    The rest were never good.

  • Jim says:

    Of these shows, Heroes is really the worst one. Unfortunately, it's also one of two still on the air.

  • Johnnyboy says:

    Don't forget Jericho. The smoke monster was a nuclear bomb.

  • George says:

    How about Threshold on CBS, which lasted a few episodes in 2005 or 2006. Brannon Braga was a writer, which may offer a hint on the success of the show.

  • lucas says:

    every one of these shows (and Jericho and threshold) suffer/ed from the same problem. lack of an end date. and a few of them suffer from network distaste for a short show. something like The Nine is really only good for one season or it goes too thin. but the network would never go for that. same for daybreak. the others could have perhaps make it 3 good seasons. at most. Especially Heroes. 3 preplanned seasons with a solid act one, two and three could have been awesome. instead we get one good season followed by stretched out crap

  • Stiv says:

    "Invasion" had an amazing, beautiful soundtrack. Just about the best I've ever heard in a TV series. Of course, I'll always love Shaun Cassidy who created the series for "American Gothic" which had one of the best pilots ever.

  • Brain says:

    I've been watching Lost on Hulu from the beginning. Earlier tonight, I caught the flashback for Rose/Bernard. I apparently missed this ep the first time around, being a casual watcher, but the fact she visits "Isaac of Uluru" (the faith healer) caught my attention, as in Heroes, Isaac the comic artist creates the rock creature "Uluru" in s1.
    and here I just left it at "the two Claire's" and Grunny (and now DHL) being shared between the two series.

  • jw says:

    The problem with ABC is simple, ABC.
    What needs to be cancelled is the head of programing and that person's entire staff. Showtime is kicking butt on every other network with its original programing and unlike ABC, which never gives a show time to find an audience, showtime gives you an entire season, then they deceide if it goes on, and most do.
    Look at "Californication" "The Tudors" "Weeds" "Dexter" "Six Feet Under" "Deadwood", these shows are masterpieces in a time of absolute crap on the big three.
    The only shows we watch on ABC are "The Middle", "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town". I'm just waiting for ABC to screw up the Wednesday night schedule like they do everything else.
    They didn't give "EastWick" time to gain an audience and now they are cancelling "Ugly Betty" what sense does that make? This is why I don't watch network tv, in our house we watch Showtime,FX,TLC,Animal Planet,History Channel,Discovery etc. The big three seem to becoming more and more the uneducated people's channels, with crap like "Dancing with the Stars" and all of these stupid reality shows and endless CSI's and NYPD's and Law and Order.
    ABC needs to get some balls and put together a schedule, stick with it and stop acting like a 5 year old with ADD. I think one reason some of these shows don't make it is that the public does not trust ABC to run a season of a show so people don't invest time in watching. Thank God for Cable!

  • Shannon says:

    Say what you want about Heros but not all the actors are as bad as you paint them to be. Zachary Quinto plays Sylar amazingly well and shouldn't be lumped in with the rest. He is the only redeeming quality that show has.

  • ashleyxr says:

    First off, Lost is not that great at all. Sure the first couple of seasons are good, but now it's almost painful. I can't wait until the end just so there is a conclusion.
    As for Invasion - that was a good show.
    Heroes is great - not as good as the previous seasons, but still great imo.
    And someone else mentioned Jericho. Jericho was VERY GREAT! Why that ended, I have no idea D:

  • zac says:

    heroes is great and lost is painful?!?
    you must be out of your mind

  • tarheelcoin says:

    I loved Invasion and was greatly saddened when it was cancelled. Now I'll never get to know what happened!

  • Xon says:

    Of the Series discussed above, it was Daybreak that that pulled me in because of the Deja Vu premise, and the cast involved.
    Love the Time Travel/Alternate Universe/Alternate Path hook.
    I was gratified to see that it wrapped up reasonably well, and released to DVD. I'm re-watching it again, and it remains a favorite
    of mine.
    As for the rest of them, I liked Invasion, but liked Surface more.
    Liked Nine at the start, but where was it going? And the scheduling?
    Maybe as a Mini-Series it would have fared better(?).
    Ditto for Hero's and FlashForward.
    And as was mentioned, Threshold was really an interesting idea, but
    the wrap-up was pretty lame. Jeez, if they can make a Mini-Series out
    of The Andomeda Strain, they could've done the same for Threshold ya think?
    Maybe the Networks should rethink the whole process, and green light
    proposals as Mini-Series to test the waters for a response, rather
    than considering them as Series for which the Networks too often
    don't care/don't know what to do, with what they have.
    Speaking of the Networks(ABC, Fox, et al), I think they should revisit some of their inventory of Series that weren't given a fair chance the first time, and package them in a DVD Set (is FOX listening?).
    Fox could take Mantis, Brimstone, and Strange Luck, for example,
    and put them into a DVD Box Set (I'd be interested in that,)and cut
    us fans a break.
    They may be surprised by the Fan response. Firefly anyone?
    But that's just my opinion.

  • JWE says:

    "Jericho" was more a "24" rip-off than a "Lost" rip-off.

  • Florence and the Machines completely dominated the Video Music Awards. Dog Days Are Over is such an amazing song and it really is so much better than the trash on pop radio today.

  • Saran Mini says:

    Aw, this is a real top quality content. In fact I'd like to write this way as well - taking skill and actual focus to bring about a very good blog post... yet what could I say... I put things off a whole lot and never appear to get things completed...

  • Suen Hou says:

    I’m wondering in case anyone knows what Canada’s immigration conditions are. As an good old fart, I probably don’t possess the “skills” they want. They’ll clearly make sure I’m fleeing a were unable country, looking for decent health care.

  • Jay Storm, why dont you and da Youngfellaz just give it up alrady. I mean this site is a perfect example where good music is at. Why isnt your stuff on here. Huh.

  • oceana says:

    did someone just say lost sucks and heroes is great? lmao

  • Paul M. says:

    Well, now that Lost is ancient history by now, we know that it was the biggest ripoff of all ...