By Ben Brock | The Playlist September 18, 2013 at 10:52AM
TV news! You know, those things that you can sometimes hook up to Netflix, if they're new enough! Remember the early seasons of “Lost”? Remember when you absolutely had to know what was up with those numbers? Remember when you thought Matthew Fox had a brilliant career ahead of him? 2004 was a strange time, and “Lost” was a huge hit that launched its creators largely out of TV land and into the movies: J.J. Abrams went on to mega-franchises like “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible” and now, “Star Wars,” while Damon Lindelof explored other genre fare in “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Prometheus.” But now, Deadline tells us, Lindelof is heading back to TV, or at least to HBO, with a new series entitled “The Leftovers,” which has just been picked up for a 10-episode first season. It will star Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston and Justin Theroux (Mr. Aniston) as the inhabitant of a small town who were left on Earth when something very like the Rapture happened. Unconfirmed rumors at this stage suggest that there will also be an inexplicable polar bear wandering the town.
Over at NBC, meanwhile, Scott Z. Burns, writer of “Contagion,” “The Informant!” and the forthcoming “Planet of the Apes” sequel, has sold a drama project based on Christopher MacBride's 2012 film “The Conspiracy,” a flick that had a nifty idea about two documentary-makers interviewing a conspiracy theorist who then vanishes. In this version, the disappearance will be investigated by an FBI agent and the missing man's sister.
And in totally non-spooky, conspiracy-ish TV news, Lifetime has announced a TV biopic of Gabby Douglas, who you'll remember from last year's Olympics as “The Flying Squirrel.” Douglas was part of the immensely successful U.S. gymnastics squad and the first African-American winner of the all-round gymnastic gold, and she has the kind of hard-scrabble background Lifetime loves. Imani Hakim and Sydney Mikayla will play the child and teenaged Douglas, with Regina King as her mother and S. Epatha Merkerson as her grandmother. Definitely no polar bears in this one.