A writer is suing ABC television for allegedly stealing his idea for its hit show Lost, according to reports.
Lost has proved a critical and ratings hit
Anthony Spinner filed a legal action in Los Angeles saying he was asked in 1977 to write a script for a show called Lost about a plane crash.
He alleges he was hired to produce and direct the programme which was to be produced by ABC.
The action cites ABC and Touchstone Television, according to Hollywood Reporter. Both declined to comment.
Mr Spinner alleged he was hired by Sid and Marty Krofft Productions to write a drama about a group who survive a plane crash on an island which strange creatures inhabit.
He said he has a signed contract which promised creator and writer credits, royalties and a percentage of profits. He is seeking unspecified damages.
Lost has proved a critical and ratings hit since launching in the US, winning a clutch of Emmy nominations.
It centres around a plane crash on an apparently deserted island, slowly revealing the complicated life stories of the survivors.
The show has also proved popular in the UK where it launched on Channel 4 on 10 August with six million viewers.