This Fall TV season brought with it the much-buzzed-about new drama The Event, which many thought would be the next Lost for most of the same reasons as FlashForward: it has a big cast, plenty of action, and each week pulls back a layer to reveal another mystery. I can't speak for everyone, but I think it's safe to say that The Event has not lived up to the initial expectations that accompanied the Lost comparisons. Personally, I stopped watching after the third episode. But it hasn't been canceled yet, so I guess it's still a contender.
The Walking Dead is fairly new (though AMC did just order a second season of the hit zombie drama), and a show about zombies doesn't exactly scream Lost, but I for one would like to throw its name into the ring. Firstly, the reanimated corpses of The Walking Dead aren't a far cry from the (SPOILER ALERT) walking dead people that we frequently saw on the Island of Lost. (Although they were generally Smokey in disguise.) Or perhaps a better comparison for the zombies would be the Others: they're both usually trying to kill you, have a distinct vacant stare, and never shower. Now all they need is a clever, rodent-like leader. Like Lost, the majority of Walking Dead's plot is generated by the characters' perpetual struggle to survive under extreme circumstances. One of the things that reminded me most of Lost as I was watching Sunday's episode of Walking Dead (the second of the season) was the main character, Rick. He, like our dear Jack Shephard, seems to be the tragic hero, only Rick is a sheriff rather than a doctor. Am I the only one who half-expected to hear the phrase "live together, die alone" come out of the sheriff's mouth while he was laying down the law on top of that department store roof? He's most certainly the fearless leader of the group. There also seems to be a love triangle in the making between Rick, his wife (who thinks he's dead), and his (sort of) bad boy partner. If it goes where I think it's going, we might have a Jack/Kate/Sawyer situation on our hands. Or maybe I'm stretching the comparison a bit here, but you can't deny there's definitely some resemblance.
When all is said and done, though, I tend to agree with Entertainment Weekly's resident Lost expert Doc Jensen that the "true heir to the Lost throne" is actually the ratings-challenged Fox series Fringe. The underappreciated sci-fi drama (now in its third season) features alternate realities, scientific "impossibilities" (i.e. time travel), and a group known as "the Observers" who apparently oversee the unfolding of events while never aging. (Richard Alpert anyone?) Fringe has the mythology, the quality acting (someone give John Noble an Emmy already), the masterful storytelling, and the pedigree (created by Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams) to fill the void of Lost. Though Lost can never really be replaced, I think Fringe is definitely our best bet. So if you love Lost, turn your TV to Fox on Thursday nights and watch Fringe so it doesn't get canceled.