Kevin Burns, president and creator of Prometheus Entertainment and a producer of Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot, died Sunday of cardiac arrest at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 65.
Burns’ death was confirmed by Derek Thielges, vice president marketing and development at Prometheus. The company has produced such non-fiction series as Ancient Aliens, America’s Book of Secrets, Food Paradise and Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed. Docudramas include The Curse of Oak Island and Kendra.
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mr. Kevin Burns yesterday,” tweeted Ancient Aliens narrator Robert Clotworthy. “Not only was he my boss, he was my friend. He was creative, funny, generous, brilliant, tough, wise, curious, opinionated, loyal and loved life.”
Burns created and exec produced Ancient Aliens, launched in the U.S. in 2009, and, according to Prometheus, has produced more than 800 hours of television programming over the past two decades, including programs for History, WEtv, A&E, Travel Channel, E!, Bravo, Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel and AMC.
Burns was an exec at Twentieth Century Fox Television in 1993 when he co-founded Foxstar Productions where he developed and produced a series of Alien Nation movies for television. The following year he founded Van Ness Films, a subsidiary of Foxstar, where he produced 166 episodes of the A&E series Biography, winning an Emmy in 2002 and, the following year, taking a Daytime Emmy for AMC’s Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s.
Burns founded Prometheus in 1999, creating and producing such programming as E!’s The Girls Next Door, WEtv’s Kendra on Top and HW@’s America’s Book of Secrets and In Search of Aliens, as well as History channel’s Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island.
Also that year, Burns, in partnership with Jon Jashni, founded Synthesis Entertainment, which developed and produced remakes and sequels of the popular Irwin Allen movies and television series including the feature film version of The Poseidon Adventure in 2006. In 2016, Synthesis joined Legendary Entertainment in launching the new Lost in Space series that launched on Netflix in 2018 and is currently in its second season.
Other TV credits include Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, Spider-Man Tech, Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest; Batman Unmasked, and Angels & Demons: Decoded.
Burns is survived by his niece Jill.
I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mr. Kevin Burns yesterday. Not only was he my boss, he was my friend. He was creative, funny, generous, brilliant, tough, wise, curious, opinionated, loyal and loved life. Thank you Kevin. You live eternally in my heart.#AncientAliens
— Robert Clotworthy (@Rob_Clotworthy) September 28, 2020
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