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Man Claims He Got 'Lost' First

7/13/2009 6:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

There may be one human being on Earth who understands the TV show "Lost" -- a guy who claims he created the show 32 years ago.

Lost Click to view!

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 is now suing ABC and Touchstone Television, claiming the network passed on the show in '77, '91 and '94 ... then suddenly created an exact replica with Touchstone in 2004.

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."

Spinner also alleges the new "Lost" characters -- including Jack, Locke, Sayid, Kate and Sawyer -- are all rip-offs ... down to their occupations and dark pasts.

The comparisons go on and on. Spinner is suing for damages and a cut of royalties, profits and a bunch of other stuff. Spinner tried to sue a few years ago, but it was dismissed for procedural reasons.

127 COMMENTS

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16.

GOLGO13    

Same ish happened with me, except this guy has a chance to win...

1873 days ago
17.

google fu    

A quick google search shows this writer filed the lawsuit in August 2005 -- right after season 1 finished airing.

1873 days ago
18.

nomad    

It can sometimes take a long time to mount a lawsuit. Plus, suppose he realized he was being ripped off during the first season. By allowing several seasons to pass, perhaps it only solidified his case. If he presented a case after only one season, perhaps it would have minimized his lawsuit gain potential. At any rate, if it is indeed his story, I hope he takes them for all they're worth. There's nothing worse than a rat scoundrel taking credit for something they didn't do.

1873 days ago
19.

Maria    

Wow, hope he gets a settlement.

1873 days ago
20.

Babyfacemagee    

People steal stuff in Hollywood all the time. The industry is all ego based and nobody gives a crap about anybody. In order to prove it he'll have to show a connection to the show's eventual creators and prove they had access or read his script. this could be easy or difficult depending if he had an agent that kept records of everywhere the script was sent. that's one of the primary purposes of agents...to long all submissions for this kind of thing. Just about every big movie or show gets sued eventually and most of the time it's coincidence but sometimes there is truth to it. But you gotta prove the later creator saw your script which is the tricky part.

1873 days ago
21.

Davo    

Well, given that it's basically Lord of the Flies with grown-ups I'm not surprised someone else had the idea first. Plus, the characters are the same in any post-apocalyptic tale across the board. (Doctor, Military Man, Tough-Guy, Tough-Girl, etc.)

The worst piece of evidence is the ethnic minority who's picked on because of their colour. In an American TV show? Really?

The only interesting thing is the sabre-tooth tiger, which is strange, especially since the polar-bear thing only really existed in the pilot.

1873 days ago
22.

Pongo    

I know the plot of Lost can be hard to follow, but did it actually take this guy five years to figure this out? Pretty lame.

1873 days ago
23.

The Truth    

ABC is a piece of DODO.

I hope he puts them Out .

Empty their purse..

Go GO GO getem man

1873 days ago
24.

boston_monkey    

One possibility is that Spinner may have been negotiating for some time with ABC/Touchstone without success and now his claim is facing a statute of limitations problem. If that is the case, he must go forward with formal litigation or lose all rights to his claim.
He would have to prove more than a passing similarity to the idea of being shipwrecked or jetwrecked on a tropical island. That idea has been around since Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe 290 years ago. Or Wyss' Swiss Family Robinson from 1812. Or the Robinsons in Lost in Space (hello Irwin Allen) from 1965. Or about 300 other popular variations.

1873 days ago
25.

They about to get paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Why no Jessica and Tony Story,did TMZ drop the ball or are they not worthy of news,we all know jessica is heart broken

1873 days ago
26.

OH REALLY    

BORING!!

1873 days ago
27.

BBKing77    

Ok, the only defence that the producers have is that he was originally paid for his script, and that it then became the property of ABC or Touchstone, or whoever paid him the $30k. It would all depend on the contract under which the script was purchased. Could be an interesting case. I'm sure it'll be settled outside of court, but I want to know what happens.

1873 days ago
28.

gracella    

I totally believe this is possible. A major TNT show appears to based--down the names of the characters--on a question I had posted on a forum for beginning screenwriters, in which I had given away my very unusual show idea in order to clarify my statement. Sometimes it takes awhile to either dig up the proof, or, to get mad enough to sue. Someday, maybe it'll be my own plagerism suit making the headlines. for me, all I will need is to find the printout of that website, which I may have done, only to have buried it, or tossed it out. The irony is, the very same forum where my (stolen)) show ideas posted a thread from an outraged newbie screenwriter claiming that producers steal show ideas ALL the time!! He told people never to post their ideas on the forum!! And all the "bigwig" guest "speakers" (read: Hollywood producers) all criticized him for saying that. I trusted these people. Which is exactly how my show idea got stolen.

1873 days ago
29.

VoiceOfReason    

A little homework shows this writer/producer/director has had a court case against ABC since at least 2005. Look at this link, and this guy's track record at IMDB.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0818961/news#ni0067608

1873 days ago
30.

TLT    

He filed this lawsuit FOUR YEARS AGO. (Not recently as TMZ would have you believe)

Here is a link to the article on the lawsuit. Check the date on the piece.

http://www.tv.com/story/571.html

1873 days ago
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