EXCLUSIVE: JJ Abrams and Lost executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff are heading to another island. I hear Abrams and his Warner Bros. TV-based Bad Robot are about to take out to the networks Alcatraz, a drama spec script written by Sarnoff. Like all things Bad Robot, the project is shrouded in secrecy but it is about the San Francisco Bay island that once housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone. (UPDATE: The script which will be shopped was written by Sarnoff. Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt had sold an early version of the project to Bad Robot.) WBTV, which co-produces with Bad Robot, declined comment.
Sarnoff joined ABC’s Lost, co-created and executive produced by Abrams, in the second season as a writer-producer and rose through the ranks to executive producer in the sixth and final season of the sci-fi/adventure series. She wrote or co-wrote 19 episodes, including the series penultimate episode. Abrams tends to develop with writers he has worked with before and seems to prefer spec scripts over pitches. Bad Robot’s two series on the air, Fox’s Fringe and the upcoming NBC spy drama Undercovers, originated as spec scripts Abrams co-penned with Alias alums Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and former Felicity and What About Brian writer-producer Josh Reims, respectively. Speaking of Fringe, a trivia tidbit: a minor character on the show’s first season was named Elizabeth Sarnoff. Before Lost, Sarnoff worked on Deadwood and Crossing Jordan.