Monday, May 17, 2004

New series gives Hawaii
3 TV shows in production

ABC approves "Lost," a castaway
drama, for 11 episodes

Hawaii, already the location for two new network television series, has added ABC's Oahu-based castaway drama "Lost," which has been picked up for 11 episodes.

Production is likely to begin here in July.

The network announces its fall lineup tomorrow and when the series will begin production, said Damon Lindelof, co-executive producer and creator of the show.

For the first time, three television series will be filming here at the same time, pouring millions of dollars into the local economy and showing Hawaii scenes to viewers each week.

ABC has been considering "Lost" for a mid-season replacement, which would mean filming would begin this fall. But in an earlier interview, Lindelof said he expected the series would debut in the fall so filming would begin on Oahu in July with preproduction beginning next month. Another "Lost" executive yesterday also said filming would begin in July.

"Obviously, this is great news,'" Lindelof said. "Unfortunately, I don't have any of the details ... as to what our production schedule is."

Lindelof confirmed that 11 "Lost" episodes have been ordered by the network. Since the pilot is two hours long -- which equals two episodes -- that fulfills the traditional 13-episode network order, he said.

Lindelof and co-producer/creator J.J. Abrams expect to produce "Lost" entirely in Hawaii.

"No one has told us otherwise," Lindelof said. "We are an island show, so I can't imagine shooting it in Malibu."

The "Lost" pilot filmed on Oahu last month reportedly was the most expensive in ABC history at $10 million to $14 million, sources said.

The three network series -- the others are NBC's police drama "Hawaii," Fox's hotel drama "North Shore" -- will film a combined 35 episodes costing between $2.1 million and $2.4 million each. Final spending, most of which will be in Hawaii, will be $73 million to $84 million.

"Lost" follows a group of castaways stranded on an unnamed Pacific Island after an airplane crash. The drama is about the group creating a new society.

Hawaii Film commissioner Donne Dawson was ecstatic by the news of yet another TV series coming to Hawaii.

"The news about Hawaii as a premier, diverse location with professional, experienced, and enthusiastic crews has filtered throughout Hollywood," she said. "Each of these series are diverse in their stories, characters and locations. Each showcase Hawaii in a unique and different way."


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