Anthony Spinner is the veteran producer behind Baretta, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and several other TV shows, and in 1977, evidently after being visited by a time-travelin' Daniel Farraday, he wrote a script for ABC about a band of plane crash survivors who land in a mysterious tropical locale. Spinner claims his rejected script (which he resubmitted in 1991 and 1994) was eventually made into ABC's Lost, and he's now suing the network for royalties. Which brings me to the question: When is the lawsuit?
Anthony Spinner—a producer on "Baretta" and "Babes in Toyland" — says back in 1977 he was paid $30,000 to write a TV pilot, which eventually became a 121-page script called "Lost."
Spinner lists a ton of similarities in his suit — which was filed on July 10 — notably an "airplane headed to Los Angeles [that] crashes into a tropical jungle-like environment."
So he came up with the idea of having a TV show about an airplane crash? He doesn't even say here that his plane crashed on an island, just a "tropical jungle-like environment." But that's not the only vague plot point Spinner is claiming to have come up with before Lost. From his lawsuit:
Spinner: Survivor suffers from drug addiction (Kyle) vs. ABC's Lost: Survivor suffers from drug addiction (Charlie)
Spinner: Ethnic minority character (Coby) must deal with racial slurs especially from one character (Butch) vs. ABC's Lost: Ethnic minority character (Sayid) must deal with racial slurs especially from one character (Sawyer)
Spinner: Jealousy erupts when a man (Butch) sees that woman's attention is focused on another man (Jackie focused on Hagan) vs. ABC's Lost: Jealousy erupts when a man (Jack) sees that woman's attention is focused on another man (Kate focused on Sawyer)
Spinner: Physically fit and durable young woman (Jackie/Diane) suffers from the recent loss of her partner and can perform many of the same physical tasks as men. vs. ABC's Lost: Physically fit and durable young woman (Kate) suffers from the recent loss of her partner and can perform many of the same physical tasks as men
Spinner: Killing off a lead. vs. ABC's Lost: Killing off a lead.
Okay, so to sum up, not only did Spinner introduce the concept of a plane crash to ABC for the very first time, he also is responsible for such narrative innovations as 1. Having a character with a drug problem 2. Having a character who is a minority and another one who's kinda a racist 3. Inventing the concept of a love triangle 4. Inventing the concept of a strong woman and 5. Killing off a main character. Has Spinner seen Grey's Anatomy, or Desperate Housewives, or even Ugly Betty? Because considering this impressive list of original concepts, I'm pretty sure he could sue ABC for aspects of some of those shows as well.
Granted, there is at least one striking similarity between what Spinner alleges he came up with and what was eventually on Lost:
Spinner: Cold weather animals in a warm tropical jungle (Saber Tooth Tiger) vs. ABC's Lost: Cold weather animals in a warm tropical jungle (Polar Bear)
So close…and yet so far. I mean, a Saber Tooth Tiger? That would have been ridiculous.