You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The ‘Lost’ Era Officially Comes to an End at ABC

 Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004.

ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit while McPherson was running Disney’s studio — helped turn the network around. McPherson reaped those rewards.

Now, after a number of successes but also many ostentatious failures, a yet-to-be-announced successor will be banking on McPherson’s development to help spur a new resurgence and lift ABC out of its latest
LOSTSUPPER doldrums.

It’s a theme with which Disney should be quite familiar — the executive version of “The Circle of Life.”

Under McPherson, ABC fell victim to a common plague when a network enjoys a degree of success with a certain type of show — namely, developing that same concept, under different names, over and over. It’s one reason, frankly, why network presidents usually last not much longer than a handful of years in that job. Years ago, when I was at the Los Angeles Times, I asked former ABC Entertainment Prez Brandon Stoddard why so few executives lasted longer than four or five years.

Stoddard wryly replied that such a term was “roughly the sentence given most white-collar criminals.”

Only with much better severance packages, meaning McPherson can kick back on an island for awhile, leaving somebody else to fret about finding another “Lost.”

More Voices

  • profiles theatre Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • TV Television problems Expenses Placeholder

    Netflix Has Secret Weapon in Hollywood's Multibillion-Dollar Arms Race

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • sweeney Todd Barrow Street Theatre

    Commercial Off Broadway Isn't Dead -- It's Turning Into Broadway

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • Edie Windsor Appreciation

    GLAAD President Reflects on Edie Windsor's Impact on LGBTQ Community

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • Game of Thrones

    Networks' Streaming Apps Make Minimal Revenue Impact (For Now)

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • Avatar

    3D Shows Enduring Value, Delivering Entertainment Not Found at Home (Guest Column)

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

  • Spotify hand changing free to fee

    Why Spotify Should Ditch Its Free Tier, Add Streaming Fees

     Stephen McPherson’s resignation as head of ABC Entertainment offers an odd sort of symmetry with the flight path of “Lost,” which premiered months after the executive was originally named to that position in 2004. ABC was in the toilet, and “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” — developed under McPherson’s predecessors, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, albeit […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content