Along with Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan, he is considered one of the most prolific modern "genre" TV/film creators since Steven Spielberg, including by Spielberg himself, who produced Abrams' tribute to 70s/80s Spielberg sci-fi, Super 8.
He likes red balls and playing with the perception of time, as well as having a thing for Lens Flares. He hates airplanes (both Lost and Fringe have had more than one airline-related disaster—and the other stuff on the list of credits also have had aviation-related incidents).
Contrary to popular belief, his involvement in Lost was marginal: He and eventually Damon Lindelof were asked to help flesh out a concept for the show when ABC chairman Lloyd Braun rejected Jeffrey Lieber's treatment, but by the time the first season started to take off, Abrams had already left to direct Mission: Impossible III. Lindelof, suddenly left alone with the Showrunner burden, considered quitting too, but was convinced by former co-writer Carlton Cuse to stay. Cuse then joined the show as a second showrunner. Abrams remained an executive producer, and later briefly returned to write the season 3 premiere together with Lindelof, but as he and others stated in numerous interviews Lindelof and Cuse ran the show entirely without him.
Has a similar "shepherding" role to most TV series he is involved in, including Fringe and Person of Interest, With his most hands-on projects being his movies. He also developed the concept for the novel S, which was written by Doug Dorst.
- Alcatraz (executive producer)
- Anatomy of Hope
- Armageddon (writer)
- Cloverfield (creator, producer)
- Family Guy (guest voice, one episode)
- Felicity (executive producer)
- Forever Young (writer)
- Fringe (executive producer and writer)
- Gone Fishin' (writer)
- The Heavy (producer)
- Jimmy Kimmel Live! (guest director, one episode)
- Joy Ride (writer, producer)
- Lost (producer, writer, director)
- Mission: Impossible III (director)
- Morning Glory (producer)
- Overlord (2018) (producer)
- Person of Interest (producer)
- Regarding Henry (writer)
- S. (Conceived by Abrams, written by Doug Dorst)
- Six Degrees
- Star Trek (2009) (director)
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (director, co-writer with Lawrence Kasdan)
- Super 8 (director, writer)
- Taking Care of Business (writer)
- The Catch
- The Office (US)
- The Pallbearer
- The Suburbans
- Westworld (producer)
- What About Brian
J.J. Abrams and his works frequently contain examples of:
- Action Girl: Occurs quite frequently. Alias and Fringe both star iconic women in action roles, Sydney Bristow, Olivia Dunham, Michelle and Rey respectively.
- Author Appeal: In addition to the aforementioned Action Girl, lens flares. Both Star Trek films and Super 8 made extensive use of it and his usage of it is a prime source of parody.
- Creator Thumbprint: His films and shows feature the name "Kelvin," in honor of his grandfather.
- Doing It for the Art: He is a supporter of keeping film/celluloid cameras in use in Hollywood, alongside Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino. The three of them, and a few other filmmakers, even formed a coalition to "bail out" Kodak to keep film stock in production.
- Kill and Replace: Tends to happen at least once per show with regards to a prominent side character, notable in the second seasons of both Alias and Fringe.
- Lens Flare: A stylistic trope more prevalent in his movies than his TV shows, with Star Trek (2009) being the biggest offender thus far.
- Magic Realism: Alias, Felicity, and Lost all have elements of this. Lost is probably the best example.
- Production Posse: His films have Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci as writers and Michael Giacchino as composer. When he can, he will always try to fit Greg Grunbergnote or Simon Pegg in either a cameo or supporting role.
- Promoted Fanboy:
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: His recent forays into space opera have shown that he has serious issues grasping the scale of interplanetary and interstellar distances. Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness both contain egregious examples of this trope but Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens takes it Up to Eleven.
- The Reveal/Teasing Creator: His "Mystery Box" concept is built around keeping one element of a project under wraps during marketing so that an audience will keep guessing. After Star Trek: Into Darkness took this approach with Khan, a backlash started to emerge against it.