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Is it common knowledge who does the voiceover "Previously on Lost?"
I just learned that it's this man:


Lloyd Braun, former ABC boss, who was the one to tag JJ Abrams to write the "Lost" pilot

Here's the whole article, with Lost-related bits in bold.
From Variety.com

By JOSEF ADALIAN


For image-obsessed Hollywood execs, passing on a project can sometimes be more dangerous than giving it a greenlight.

Critics of Michael Eisner never let the former Disney topper forget that the Mouse House bailed on "CSI," giving up hundreds of millions in profit as a result. Likewise, the Bob Daly-Terry Semel regime at Warner Bros. dumped "Home Alone" because it became too expensive, only to watch Fox launch a monster franchise.

Now, just as networks are preparing to decide which pilots will live and die, a book by Bill Carter, who reports on the TV industry for the New York Times, promises to up the angst level on Broadcast Row by detailing how many of today's biggest hits suffered multiple rejections before finding their way onto the small screen.

Dubbed "Desperate Networks," the tome is filled with a slew of "nobody knows anything" revelations about TV's development process. While many of the stories have been told before -- Disney's shortsighted rejection of "CSI," Elisabeth Murdoch's lobbying for "American Idol" -- the book serves up a slew of juicy details and character portraits destined to be buzzed about from Burbank to Black Rock.

Among the highlights:

  • NBC U topper Bob Wright investigating why NBC didn't land "Desperate Housewives." At one point, Wright even calls creator Marc Cherry.
  • In a subtle dig at Bob Iger, the producers of "Lost" recruited ousted ABC boss Lloyd Braun to supply the voiceover at the start of each episode that says "previously on 'Lost.' "
  • Hollywood's animus toward NBC chief Jeff Zucker, including a slam from former Fox chief Gail Berman. "You gotta be able to say something about your tenure before you sit in front of people and say I'm the man, I'm the man," Berman says, clearly referring to Zucker.
  • Webheads' explosive tempers: Carter writes about Zucker telling producer Ben Silverman to "get the fuck out of my office." Moonves, feeling abandoned by a press rep during a contentious press gaggle, is seen screaming at his spokesperson, "Well, I hope you're having a fucking nice conversation."
  • After then-Fox boss Sandy Grushow denounces reality shows by saying he'd rather "fail with quality than succeed with trash," Fox reality chief Mike Darnell bites back hard: "Of course, Sandy found it very easy to fail with quality," he dishes.
    Given that it's geared to the widest possible audience, it's only logical "Desperate Networks" focuses mainly on the convoluted, creativity-stifling process of how shows become hits. TV viewers who've wondered why so many crappy shows get on the air now have an answer.


But greenlighting good shows is only half the battle.

Sure, it's important for development execs to realize gold when they've got it. And, as Carter notes, smart TV execs know it's vital to always take out "schmuck insurance" -- i.e., covering your ass to make sure you're not blamed if something you reject works out.

Yet TV history is filled with examples of strong ideas, some of them brilliantly executed, that end up failures due to bad marketing, tough timeslots or simply being on the wrong network.

Before he scored with "The West Wing," for example, Aaron Sorkin created the critically admired "SportsNight" for ABC. Skein would have been perfect for NBC's "Must-See TV" comedy block, but it wasn't a good fit with ABC's collection of blue-collar laffers -- and lasted less than two seasons.

Carter repeatedly gives former ABC chief Lloyd Braun credit for being an early, avid supporter of "Lost" and casts current Alphabet entertainment boss Steve McPherson as something of a foe of the project. The underlying take-away: Bob Iger fired the guy who gave ABC one of its biggest hits in years.

McPherson has never made a secret of the fact he had concerns over the ever-escalating costs of the "Lost" pilot, or that he was worried about early plans to kill off Matthew Fox's character right off the bat.

But there's no denying that McPherson ultimately was the man who put "Lost" on the air. He also devoted nearly half of the net's fall 2004 marketing budget to hyping the show, something unheard of in network circles at the time.

Indeed, as much as Braun deserves accolades for his role in "Lost," there's a strong case to be made that the show might not have become the monster hit it is today had he stayed with the network. After all, another J.J. Abrams-created show, "Alias," never approached the ratings achieved by "Lost," despite having a much more conventional, TV-friendly premise.


There's also no getting around the fact that, unlike a movie, long-term success in TV is about more than picking up great source material. Movies hit or miss after one at-bat, while TV shows that start strongly can quickly fizzle (ask the producers of "Joey").

Bottom line? Saying "yes" or "no" to the right projects is important, but it's hardly the only measure of success for execs or networks.

"There's no great executive who hasn't passed on something," says one network insider who's read Carter's book. "It's part of the game. You're saying 'no' 98% of the time."

Read the full article at:
http://www.variety.com/story.asp?l=story&a=VR1117940330&c=14

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
arabella_hope
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
He LOOKS appropriatly the part, Mr. Voice-over-of-DOOM. Thanks for the info :)
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
Yay, glad it was news after all. ;-)
arabella_hope
Mar. 28th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
You know, for a long time I thought it was Christian.

Or maybe their voices sound nothing alike. *shrug*
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, Christian! That would be interesting. And kind of fucked-up, LOL. I like that idea!
quiet_rebel
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I may actually love his voice.

And finally! I know who this other "creator" is because isn't he credited for creating Lost with JJ and Damon? I knew about the former ABC president getting fired, but I guess I never connected it with Lost. I wonder if Mr. Braun gets any money from Lost.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
I've heard that the other creator had a similar idea and got paid off to not pursue it so they could do Lost. And I don't think Braun does get any money for Lost. But I'm sure he was very well compensated as head of ABC and got a hefty sendoff package.
gobsmackit
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Dude, that's awesome! Carlson and Damon always talk on the podcasts about how it's a big secret.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
Cool! I didn't think I'd heard it before and I was always curious!
inthekeyofd
Mar. 28th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
He has the BEST voice for voice overs.

And I still say they made the total right move in not killing off Jack's character.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
I like his voice - it's deadpan and kind of cool.

And I thought by the time they cast Foxy they'd made the decision to keep Jack alive -- it was only when they were talking about casting someone like Michael Keaton that they were going to kill him off right away.
mediocrechick
Mar. 28th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
Interesting story.....but hindsight is always 20/20. You lose some, you win some. *meh* I watch more cable anyways.....
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
Definitely -- I think want to take credit for the good decisions and pass the buck on the bad ones. What else is new, LOL?

And let's see, I watch a few shows on ABC, two on FOX, none on NBC, CBS or WB and one on FX and one on HBO. Not to mention all the makeover shows, heh - definitely a basic cable junkie!
kiki_miserychic
Mar. 29th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
Him and Peter Coyote need to talk dirty to me.
halfdutch
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
Hee. ;-) I'll take Kiefer and Sean Bean!
cmonkatiekatie
Mar. 29th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
Is it just me, or does he look a bit like Colby from one of the early Survivors?
halfdutch
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
*squints*

Maybe a little!
foxxcub
Mar. 29th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
That? Is awesome. I'm glad they gave that guy his due.
halfdutch
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
Agreed. Very cool. ;-) I kind of liked isis2015's idea that it was Christian, though!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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