Hyperion to Publish Mansucript Featured on Lost

Posted on November 3, 2005

The television show Lost is getting ready to break new ground once again. ABC has cooked up a very interesting deal with its sister company Hyperion Books. In upcoming episodes, the castaways will find a manuscript that was written by an author named Gary Troup, who supposedly delivered the manuscript to Hyperion just a few days before he had the misfortune to board Oceanic Flight #815. Now Hyperion will publish the novel for real this spring.

Plans for the convoluted cross-promotion, first reported on Tuesday by Hollywood trade publication Daily Variety, were confirmed by a spokeswomen for Hyperion and production studio Touchstone Television, which like ABC, are owned by the Walt Disney Co. Advertisers have increasingly explored novel product-placement schemes in the face of new technologies that allow TV viewers to skip over conventional commercials when watching their favorite shows. But Variety said the "Lost" book tie-in may be the first to use imaginary TV events and characters as the basis for a real-life marketing campaign.

As part of the plan, Hyperion said it has commissioned a "well-known" mystery writer to anonymously adapt the fictitious manuscript into an actual, printed book it hopes will automatically appeal to the show's large and loyal following. "Fans of the show are obsessive. We think a lot of them will be buying the book just to look for clues" to the series, Hyperion President Bob Miller told Variety. The Lost novel, titled Bad Twin, is described as a private eye mystery about a wealthy heir's search for his evil sibling.

Lost, one of the several surprise hits that helped ABC bounce back from a lengthy ratings slump last season, currently ranks as the fourth most-watched show on U.S. television, averaging more than 20 million viewers a week.

Bad Twin, eh? A "wealthy heir's search for his evil sibling"? Let the conspiracy theories begin! And stop telling us we're compulsive about Lost. We can quit watching anytime we want to.

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