J.J. Abrams won’t get ‘lost’ with serialized stories in ‘Alcatraz’

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Star producer J.J. Abrams has been behind hit films and several of TV’s most popular -- and confusing -- serialized shows, including ‘Alias’ and ‘Lost.’

He recalled coming across an episode of ‘Alias’ while visiting a friend’s house several years ago and ‘after four minutes, I was saying, ‘What the ... is going on with this show?’ and I knew and I had worked on it.’

Abrams said his new drama, ‘Alcatraz,’ will not have the same intense serialized direction. Sure there will be familiar Abrams elements -- the show contains time travel and a group of investigators trying to unravel giant, perhaps supernatural and otherworldly, elements. But the stories will be more self-contained.

‘I love serialized TV,’ Abrams said as he discussed the new series during the Fox portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour. ‘But this show will be more episodic, with a wide arc.’ The main focus of the show will be going after the bad guy of the week.


The show follows a trio of investigators exploring the reappearance of 302 of Alcatraz’s most dangerous prisoners and guards 50 years after they vanished. The show stars Sam Neill, Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia.

The show marks Garcia’s second series with Abrams; he starred in ‘Lost.’ Garcia acknowledged that he’s back on an island. But there’s a different kind of creepiness going on with ‘Alcatraz’ that has nothing to do with smoke monsters and jungle dwellers.

‘Alcatraz is like an old skeleton, just crumbling,’ said Garcia, though adding that the prisoners in the show ‘are really clean cut.’


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