By Scott Brown
October 03, 2006 at 08:54 PM EDT

Breaking news: Lost is big business! Duh, right? Still, The New York Times has a piece on the plight of the well-paid showrunners, who are responsible for ”managing the brand,” from the toys to the lunchboxes to the alternate-reality games to the fake novels to the mobisodes.

Poor Lindelof ‘n’ Cuse! Uneasy lies the head that wears the Hurley. Look at all the ancillary crud they’ve got to manage: What, for instance, is this ”Lost-apalooza” concert for fans? Performances by Driveshaft, perhaps? (That’s really not necessary: I’m still getting over the diaper commercial.) Live versions of some of the cheesier montage songs? Or just Lost composer Michael Giacchino, with a cello and a trombone duct-taped to his torso, doing a frenetic one-man band cover of the ”scary island” music?

How long can a brand expansion go on before there’s blowback? Me, I kinda hated that they slapped a Lost label on Bad Twin, the ”Gary Troup” novel-tease released last spring. I’m sure it was mandated from upstairs, but man alive, does it kill the magic. And a line of Lost food — yes, Lost FOOD — isn’t likely to bring it back.

Help me dream more capitalist dreams, people: What would a Lost concert even be? And why on earth would I ever open a can of freaky Dharma beets?