If you were a fan of the more spiritual elements in Lost, the following news may just be of interest. Vulture hears that Carlton Cuse, one-half of the Darlton duo that ran ABC’s six-year magical mystery tour, has closed a deal with ABC to write and exec produce a potential new show called Stronger. It’s about a musician named Tom Stronger who ends up becoming a benefactor and spiritual guide. Cuse is not diving into this world blindly, however: He’s teaming with bestselling author Rob Bell (“Love Wins”), who will write the pilot with Cuse and also exec produce. So how’d the two men connect?
According to our spies, Bell and Cuse first met up a few years back, at Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world dinner. They kept in touch and ultimately came up with the idea of a series that would be loosely based on Bell’s own life story as a musician who ended up founding his own church, Michigan’s Mars Hill Bible Church. While based on biblical principles, Bell’s brand of spirituality is not about hard-core evangelical, fire-and-brimstone teachings. Instead, his goal is to service folks’ spiritual needs without the overlay of religious dogma (see also: Oprah). Stronger is similarly expected to explore spiritual themes but without being as on-the-nose as other recent series that have tackled these issues, such as 7th Heaven and Touched by an Angel. There’s also expected to be a narrative twist to the project that will make it a bit unconventional, but for now, that detail is being kept secret (this show is from a Lost-ie, after all). Cuse, meanwhile, is having a busy fall. He’s still working on Point of Honor, a Civil War–themed project sold last year to ABC and in contention for later this season or next fall. And on the feature side, the William Morris Endeavor–represented scribe is writing an African adventure movie for director Shawn Levy, to which Hugh Jackman is attached to star.