Lost made its debut in 2004 and forever changed television storytelling. Although it was a risky investment at the time, the show garnered numerous Emmy nominations and became one of the most-watched and quickly embraced series globally. Inspired by the movie Castaway, Lost is notable for having one of the most expensive pilot episodes ever produced. The story of Lost revolves around a diverse group of people dealing with the aftermath of a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island in the South Pacific. What set the show apart form other shows like Lost, was its skillful blend of supernatural and sci-fi elements, keeping viewers on edge with cliffhangers that left them eagerly anticipating each new episode.
The show’s ability to intricately weave character narratives within a backdrop of stunning visuals shattered the constraints of formulaic procedural drama, ensuring its continued significance in television discussions.
Created by a team including J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Jeffrey Lieber, Lost artfully combined drama, mystery, adventure, and sci-fi. Produced by ABC Studios, it spanned six seasons, each filled with captivating twists. The ensemble cast, led by Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, and Josh Holloway, delivered memorable performances, contributing to the show’s success. Lost received numerous awards, including Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards, and revolutionized television by introducing limitless storytelling possibilities. Today, it remains a symbol of innovation in television, a testament to its lasting impact and its ability to captivate viewers with intricate narratives and captivating visuals.
List of TV Shows Like Lost
- The Leftovers
- Lost Room
- Twin Peaks
- The Prisoners
- Battlestar Galactica
- The New People
- Flight 29 Down
- Under the Dome
- The Wilds
- The 100
1. The Leftovers (2014-2017)
Damon Lindelof, the mastermind behind the enigmatic series Lost, also co-created the supernatural drama series The Leftovers alongside Tom Perrotta. This gripping drama unfolds three years after the perplexing global event known as the ‘Sudden Departure,’ which inexplicably vanishes nearly 140 million individuals, roughly 2 percent of the world’s population. The Leftovers doesn’t dwell on unraveling the ‘why’ behind this event; instead, it delves deep into exploring how the remaining survivors cope with their immeasurable losses. As they grapple with the void left by their vanished loved ones, they seek solace through dreams, angels, gods, or even the embrace of death.
Stirring and thought-provoking, The Leftovers will leave you with a multitude of unanswered questions. This HBO gem, spanning 3 seasons, is a captivating blend of drama, mystery, and the supernatural, featuring stellar performances by Justin Theroux as Kevin Garvey, Carrie Coon as Nora Durst, Christopher Eccleston as Matt Jamison and Amy Brenneman as Laurie Garvie. The show garnered numerous award nominations and critical acclaim, including an Emmy win for its exceptional storytelling. While it embarks on an incredible journey, it also shares some thematic resonance with Lindelof’s earlier creation, Lost, offering a uniquely weird, fragmented, and thought-provoking viewing experience that lingers long after the screen goes dark.
2. Manifest (2018-2023)
Manifest, a supernatural drama show developed by Jeff Rake, is a show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their airplane faced severe turbulence. Initially presumed dead, these passengers must navigate the complexities of reintegrating into a world that has significantly changed in their absence. As the series progresses, they uncover unsettling truths about their loved ones and society, making for an intriguing premise.
Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone, Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Athena Karkanis as Grace Stone, and the rest of the cast deliver convincing performances that draw viewers into their tumultuous journey. While the show’s concept is undeniably thrilling, some viewers may find the narrative details a bit inconsistent, highlighting room for improvement in the writing department. Nevertheless, Manifest keeps audiences hooked with its suspenseful twists and turns. With three seasons under its belt and an ongoing run, it remains a worthwhile choice for fans of mysteries and supernatural dramas.
Despite not having received major awards as of my last update, Manifest continues to captivate viewers with its enigmatic storyline, cementing its status as a compelling series produced by Warner Bros. Television.
3. Lost Room (2006)
The Lost Room, directed by Craig R. Baxley, is a hidden gem in the realm of American sci-fi television. This captivating miniseries consists of just 3 episodes, each spanning 90 minutes, and sadly, it never saw the light of subsequent seasons. The series revolves around a singular, enigmatic location known as the ‘Lost Room’ and the mystical powers imbued in the objects it houses. Nestled within a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66, this room becomes the epicenter of intrigue.
The narrative unfolds when Joe Miller, portrayed by Peter Krause, experiences the unimaginable: his daughter Anna, played by Elle Fanning, vanishes within the confines of the Lost Room. With an ingenious blend of supernatural elements and a touch of mystery, viewers are taken on a riveting journey as Joe employs supernatural objects within the room to search for his daughter. Although the show acquired a devoted cult following, it remains a regrettable mystery why its creators never returned to explore its intriguing concept further.
4. Twins Peaks (1990-1991)
David Lynch, along with co-creator Mark Frost, brought to life the enigmatic world of Twin Peaks, a series that has left an indelible mark in the realms of television. With Lynch taking the helm for several episodes, the show weaves an intricate narrative web. Led by the talented Kyle MacLachlan as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and Sherilyn Fenn as the captivating Audrey Horne, the cast’s performances garnered critical acclaim, propelling the show to receive numerous awards, including Golden Globes and Emmys.
Set against the backdrop of a small town’s mysterious murder investigation of a teenage homecoming queen named Laura Palmer, Twin Peaks is a masterful blend of mystery, drama, and thriller genres. It unveils a surreal world filled with supernatural elements, bizarre characters, and a hauntingly eccentric atmosphere. The show’s groundbreaking cinematography, ahead of its time, lends it an artistic edge that’s unforgettable.
The experimental formula, resembling a satirical soap opera, may be unsettling at first, but its reward is a unforgettable viewing experience. With 2 seasons and a limited series revival in 2017, Twin Peaks stands as an iconic masterpiece, a must-watch for those seeking a mystery series of unparalleled depth and intrigue, much like Lost.
Seen it already? Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks
5. The Prisoners (1967-1968)
The 1967 series, The Prisoner delves into the enigmatic journey of an unnamed British agent portrayed by Patrick McGoohan. This agent, driven by a mysterious impulse, abruptly resigns from his high-ranking government position and attempts to escape his homeland. However, his escape is thwarted when he is forcibly abducted and incarcerated within a peculiar coastal village, inexplicably isolated from the rest of the world. This tightly controlled enclave is replete with bizarre technology and constant surveillance, intensifying the agent’s predicament. Despite its brevity, comprising only 17 episodes, The Prisoner delivers a surreal and thought-provoking narrative that captivates viewers and leaves an indelible impression.
This television miniseries features Angelo Muscat with Patrick McGoohan also serving as its creator, transcends conventional genres, blending elements of mystery, psychological drama, and science fiction. Its groundbreaking concept has not only stood the test of time but has also profoundly influenced subsequent popular shows, such as Lost. The creators of Lost openly acknowledged the impact of The Prisoner, a testament to its visionary storytelling that remains ahead of its era.
6. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
Battlestar Galactica, a 2004 reboot of the original 1978 miniseries, defies misconceptions about its title by establishing itself as a distinct entity from Star Trek. Set in the 7th millennium AD, the show delves into the resurgence of the Cylons, humanity’s robotic adversaries, who seek to obliterate the 12 colonies of mankind. Only a handful survive, escaping on ships under the command of the formidable warship Battlestar Galactica. Amidst their struggle against the Cylons, survivors navigate intricate political agendas while questing for Earth, their long-lost 13th colony.
This series unfolds as a dark and intense socio-political commentary with epic cinematic value, fueled by a clever script that resonates deeply with sci-fi enthusiasts. Upon its release, Battlestar Galactica captivated both viewers and critics for its obsessive and gripping story, like Lost. The stellar cast, featuring talents such as Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos, and Tricia Helfer, under the creative vision of Glen A. Larson and direction by Ronald D. Moore. This 4-season scifi series is a testament to the enduring charm of the speculative fiction in the world of television.
7. The New People (1969)
The New People, a one-season American Sci-fi series, created by Rod Serling and featuring a lead cast of Tiffany Bolling and Zooey Hall, is a gripping drama and sci-fi show. The storyline centers on a group of college students whose lives take a dramatic turn when their plane crashes on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean during their return from Southeast Asia. As they grapple with the challenges of survival, you might find yourself drawing comparisons to the series Lost.
What sets The New People apart is its intriguing twist—the survivors stumble upon an above-ground unused nuclear test site on the mysterious island, stocked with essential supplies. This discovery unravels a mysterious secret about the island, leading to a thrilling narrative filled with suspense and intrigue. If you’re a fan of plane crash survival tales, The New People is a must-watch, offering a fresh and exciting take on the genre.
8. Flight 29 Down (2005-2007)
Flight 29 Down is a compelling drama series centered around a group of pre-teens and teenagers who find themselves stranded on a remote South Pacific island following a harrowing plane crash during their eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. While it shares thematic similarities with the adult-oriented hit show Lost, it distinguishes itself by omitting supernatural elements from its storyline. The series also appears to draw inspiration from The New People.
Utilizing a unique narrative device, Flight 29 Down incorporates video diaries to keep viewers engaged and informed about the children’s journey on the island. The first 2 seasons are particularly engaging as we witness these resourceful young characters navigating their challenging circumstances. However it’s all downhill in the 3rd and final season. Nevertheless, for those seeking shows similar to Lost, Flight 29 Down might pique your interest. Starring Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh, and Corbin Bleu and created by Stan Rogow and D. J. MacHale, this adventure-packed drama spans three seasons, offering an intriguing escape into a world of survival and self-discovery.
9. Fringe (2008-2013)
Fringe is a captivating sci-fi crime drama TV series that delves into the intriguing realm of parallel universes and the eerie consequences of cutting-edge scientific experimentation. The show leads Anna Torv as highly-skilled FBI Agent- Olivia Dunham, John Noble as the brilliant but eccentric scientist Walter Bishop, and Joshua Jackson as his son Peter Bishop. The series was created by the well-known filmmakers J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.
Set in a world where the boundaries of reality blur, Fringe unfolds through 5 seasons. Initially appearing as a standard procedural drama, it swiftly unravels into an intricate exploration of alternate dimensions, mind-bending mysteries, and bizarre phenomena. Inspired by iconic series such as Lost, The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone, Fringe has garnered critical acclaim and remains a top choice for fans of the sci-fi, mystery, and thriller genres. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that, in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category.
Also Read: Shows like True Detective
10. Alcatraz (2012)
The mysterious and thrilling Sci-Fi show Alcatraz is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary and holds viewers captive with its intriguing premise. Created by J.J. Abrams, Steven Lilien, and Bryan Wynbrandt, the show is set against the backdrop of the now-closed Alcatraz prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The show delves into the mysteries surrounding the sudden disappearance of 256 inmates and 46 guards under unknown circumstances.
What makes it even more riveting is that these disappeared individuals reappear without aging a day, completely unaware of their absence, and continue their criminal activities. The lead cast includes Sarah Jones, who portrays Detective Rebecca Madsen, and Lost’s Jorge Garcia, who brings to life the character of Dr. Diego Soto, among others. To combat this baffling phenomenon, a specialized government unit is tasked with tracking down and re-incarcerating these criminals. With just one season, this series keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, exploring the conspiracies that surround this iconic penitentiary and the enigmatic events that unfold within its walls.
11. Under the Dome (2013-2015)
Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, the mystery drama Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester’s Mill when a huge, transparent, and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. The series, developed by Brian K. Vaughan, boasts an ensemble cast that includes Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre in prominent roles.
Under the Dome offers viewers a gripping narrative as the trapped residents attempt to uncover the truth, origin, and purpose of these mysterious domes. Over the course of its 3 seasons, the show delves into the intricacies of human nature, pushing its characters into challenging situations where they discover more about each other than they ever knew. While it may not claim the top spot on everyone’s list, Under the Dome’s unique premise, talented cast, and Stephen King’s imaginative storytelling as its foundation provides an engaging blend of suspense and intrigue for fans of the genre.
12. Dark (2017-2020)
The German Netflix original series Dark is a captivating blend of Science fiction and Mystery. It starts with children mysteriously disappearing in the small town of Winden, where four families—the Kahnwalds, Nielsens, Dopplers, and Tiedemanns—hide deep generational secrets. Things get even more intriguing when they discover a mysterious wormhole.
What sets Dark apart is its stunning cinematography, making it a visual masterpiece. The cast, including Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari, and Gina Stiebitz, delivers outstanding performances. Created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, and directed by Baran bo Odar, the show combines sci-fi, thriller, and mystery elements across its seasons. If you loved Lost, Dark’s intense and gripping story will keep you hooked. In just three seasons, it weaves a compelling and mind-bending tale that you won’t forget.
13. 1899 (2022)
1899 is a haunting and enigmatic series that offers viewers a narrative full of mysteries and twists found in a series like Lost. Created by Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the series immediately captures your attention. Set aboard a ship carrying European immigrants to the United States, 1899 delves into the complex dynamics of the passengers as they face supernatural occurrences and eerie events during their voyage. The show excels in building tension and suspense, unraveling the characters’ backgrounds, and keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.
The series features a talented ensemble cast, including leading actors like Louis Hofmann and Emily Beecham, who portray characters navigating the mysteries and horrors aboard the ship. Unfortunately like many others, 1899 was cancelled only after one season but it managed to leave a mark with its compelling storytelling. If you’re a fan of intricate plots, character-driven mysteries, and the kind of storytelling that Lost excelled at, 1899 is a series that should be on your watchlist.
14. Yellowjackets (2021-)
Yellowjackets, which hit screens in 2021, is like a long-lost sibling to Lost. Created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, this series immerses you in the lives of high school girls’ soccer team survivors who crash-landed in the ’90s wilderness. It’s a captivating mix of mystery and thrills, much like Lost.
The show boasts a talented cast, including Melanie Lynskey and Juliette Lewis, portraying characters haunted by their pasts. Currently, with just one season, Yellowjackets promises a deep dive into the human psyche and a thrilling exploration of the past and present. If you’re a Lost enthusiast or just love compelling storytelling, Yellowjackets should be on your must-watch list. It’s a journey through fears, secrets, and suspense that will keep you hooked from the very beginning.
15. The Wilds (2020-2022)
The Wilds, which aired from 2020 to 2022, is another series that draws comparisons to Lost. This show, created by Sarah Streicher, is a rollercoaster of suspense and drama. It centers on a group of teenage girls who survive a plane crash and find themselves stranded on a deserted island. Much like Lost, the series weaves together mystery, survival, and intricate character development.
The ensemble cast features talented actors like Sophia Ali and Rachel Griffiths, who bring depth to their characters’ struggles and secrets. The Wilds currently has one season, but it’s a gripping journey into the complexities of human nature, much like Lost. If you enjoy immersive storytelling and the exploration of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, The Wilds is a series that deserves your attention. It’s a thrilling and thought-provoking experience that will leave you craving more.
Also read: Shows like Fargo
16. The 100 (2014-2020)
TV series The 100 took audiences on a thrilling journey in a post-apocalyptic world. Created by Jason Rothenberg, it centers around a group of young adults who return to Earth after a nuclear catastrophe. The show boasts a strong lead cast, with Eliza Taylor as Clarke Griffin and Bob Morley as Bellamy Blake, among others. Over seven seasons, The 100 delves into themes like morality, identity, and the consequences of human actions, making it a thought-provoking series full of adrenaline-pumping moments.
For fans of Lost, there are some intriguing parallels. Both shows excel in complex character development and exploring moral dilemmas in extreme situations. They also share themes of leadership and the consequences of human behavior under pressure. With 7 seasons to binge, The 100 promises an extensive and exciting journey.
Here are a few shows that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Black Mirror
- The 4400