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The W - Movies & TV - The endgame plan for Lost
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.04
ABC details final three "Lost" seasons
By Nellie Andreeva
Mon May 7, 3:16 AM ET

ABC has set an end date for "Lost."

The Emmy-winning adventure series will run for 48 more episodes over three seasons. Each season will consist of 16 episodes, which will air uninterrupted.

"Lost" executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who have been vocal about setting up an endgame for the show, have signed on to stay for the remainder of the series' run. Their separate new eight-figure deals with "Lost" producer ABC TV Studio include their services on the show as well as multiyear development pacts set to kick in when "Lost" bows out during the 2009-10 season.

"Due to the unique nature of 'Lost,' we knew it would require an end date to keep the integrity and strength of the show consistent throughout and to give the audience the payoff they deserve," ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson said.

Lindelof said having the end point in sight was "incredibly liberating. Like we've been running a marathon and we actually know where the finish line is for the first time."

Lindelof and Cuse said they've had "a road map for the series with all the major mythological milestones and the ending in place" for a while.

"What we didn't know was how long we had to play the story out," Cuse said. "By defining the endpoint we can now really map out the rest of the series in confidence."

There will be some puzzle play, too.

"We sort of view "Lost" as a mosaic," Cuse said. "Now there are only 48 more tiles that go into that mosaic, and we're figuring out, along with all the other writers, exactly where they all go."

In January, Lindelof and Cuse said that they envisioned the endpoint for "Lost" around episode 100. The agreement with ABC will bring the total number of episodes to 120.

Lindelof wrote the pilot for "Lost" with fellow executive producer J.J. Abrams, and Cuse joined the series in October 2004 shortly after the show debuted to big numbers.

In addition to its instant commercial success and large following, "Lost" has enjoyed strong critical acclaim, capped by a best drama series Emmy in 2005 and best drama series Golden Globe in 2006.

While the show's ratings have softened this season -- it is averaging 15.1 million viewers to date -- it is the most recorded show on TV, gaining 18% more viewers through DVR viewing. It is also a popular draw for streaming replays on ABC.com, iTunes downloads and DVDs.

Thoughts: It's unusual for a prime time network television show to plan out and publicly announce its endgame over the next three years. It's a reflection of how negatively the show has been treated by the media and disgruntled viewers that they have to trumpet "Hey, see, this is going to end! We have a plan! Give us a chance to see it through!" This is the risk of serialized television now; viewers don't want the show to lurch forward until death like The X-Files for example. But they also want gratification. Now that everyone knows when it's going to end, the how is all that matters. The answers will eventually start coming.

(edited by John Orquiola on 7.5.07 0633)

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by the article
    In January, Lindelof and Cuse said that they envisioned the endpoint for "Lost" around episode 100. The agreement with ABC will bring the total number of episodes to 120.
So....over a season's worth of dead weight will be liberally sprinkled amongst the final episodes. FAN-TASTIC.



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Since: 9.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.02
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by the article
      In January, Lindelof and Cuse said that they envisioned the endpoint for "Lost" around episode 100. The agreement with ABC will bring the total number of episodes to 120.
    So....over a season's worth of dead weight will be liberally sprinkled amongst the final episodes. FAN-TASTIC.


I don't see it that way at all. Each of the final three (shortened) seasons needs to tell a compact, tight story with no room whatsoever for running in place. Cuse and Lindelof say they have visions for the three major arcs that will take place over those three seasons. I'm thinking we already got those 20 episodes of dead weight out of the way.

By the way, the rumor over the weekend said todays announcement would be two more seasons at 23 episodes per. I think everybody (C&L, ABC and the viewers) are all winners because of the actual announcement.
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.02
    Originally posted by me
    It's a reflection of how negatively the show has been treated by the media and disgruntled viewers

      Originally posted by CRZ
        Originally posted by the article
        In January, Lindelof and Cuse said that they envisioned the endpoint for "Lost" around episode 100. The agreement with ABC will bring the total number of episodes to 120.
      So....over a season's worth of dead weight will be liberally sprinkled amongst the final episodes. FAN-TASTIC.


    Wow, case in point. There's a lot of animosity towards Lost. Do the disgruntled views just want Cuse and Lindelof to just appear on TV with an hourlong power point presentation and say, "Here are the answers to the mysteries. Sorry to have wasted your time otherwise with trying to create a good television show..." Yes, they made mistakes and bad judgment calls and the show suffered for it. Season 3 was off to a rocky start but has significantly improved. Overall I think it's been better than season 2. So now they have a 3 year plan, they have an endpoint. Meanwhile, their show is still quite good. I guess my point is it's now cooler or more fun to crap on Lost than to defend the show and say you still enjoy it. But I still really enjoy it.


    (edited by John Orquiola on 7.5.07 0918)

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Sorry, John, if I have up to 20 episodes of dead weight to look forward to, I certainly won't put a shit-eating grin on my face and tell you how happy I am. In fact, it kinda sounds like one of those buffets..."the food is shit terrible, man, but the PORTIONS are ENORMOUS!"

This reaction isn't me trying to bring undeserving animosity or look cool; it's just me being honest. I'm not even really trying for animosity, although you seemed to read that into it - it's really more disappointment that I'll eagerly watch every last episode no matter how irrelevant it turns out to be in the grand scheme of things.

Maybe they shouldn't have ever said they see the series wrapping up in 100 and set that expectation, but that genie's out, isn't it. Hey, maybe they'll pleasantly surprise me! Or maybe they'll disappoint you terribly! Maybe both! Anything's possible.



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Since: 3.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.21
While I am pleased that there is now an end in sight, I am not real happy that it will take 3 seasons to do it. I think 2 shortened seasons would have been more than enough. Those extra 20 episodes could mean the return of a zombie Nikki & Paulo and it could also mean more flashbacks about Jack's tattoo.

As a LOST fanatic, I am for now, thrilled.....



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Since: 2.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.62
I think it's awesome. Plenty of time to wrap everything up, yet not too long.




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Since: 3.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.07
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Sorry, John, if I have up to 20 episodes of dead weight to look forward to, I certainly won't put a shit-eating grin on my face and tell you how happy I am. In fact, it kinda sounds like one of those buffets..."the food is shit terrible, man, but the PORTIONS are ENORMOUS!"

    This reaction isn't me trying to bring undeserving animosity or look cool; it's just me being honest. I'm not even really trying for animosity, although you seemed to read that into it - it's really more disappointment that I'll eagerly watch every last episode no matter how irrelevant it turns out to be in the grand scheme of things.

    Maybe they shouldn't have ever said they see the series wrapping up in 100 and set that expectation, but that genie's out, isn't it. Hey, maybe they'll pleasantly surprise me! Or maybe they'll disappoint you terribly! Maybe both! Anything's possible.


But Z, think about how many of the 20 filler episodes we've already gotten.



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EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.76
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by the article
      In January, Lindelof and Cuse said that they envisioned the endpoint for "Lost" around episode 100. The agreement with ABC will bring the total number of episodes to 120.
    So....over a season's worth of dead weight will be liberally sprinkled amongst the final episodes. FAN-TASTIC.


Plenty of writers start out planning a limited run for their work and then wind up expanding it as they write. I think Neil Gaiman originally planned on doing only 50 or so issues of Sandman (wound up going around 80), and I'll gladly take any 'filler' issue of that any day. I don't fault them anything for not knowing how long it was going to take to tell the story they were planning to tell way back in 2004.

I can only hope that more series begin to do this sort of thing. Having an enddate known this far in advance should allow them to avoid both being cut-off at the knees a season too early, and running out of gas one season too long.



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Since: 4.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.10
Here's what I find oddest about this.....sixteen episodes per season? What is this, HBO or the BBC? If anything, the fewer episodes per season will lead to less dead weight. For example, the shortened seasons will mean each cast member gets no more than one flashback episode per year. So while that means we lose one awesome Locke flashback, we also lose one cute-but-ultimately-redundant Kate or Jin/Sun flashback per year as well.

Am I just a huge nerd, or did anyone immediately think "Sixteen? That's one of THE NUMBERS!"



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Since: 2.1.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
You're assuming everyone makes it out of this season alive. Cuse/Lindelof said we'd have at least 5 deaths before the season wraps up.



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Since: 20.3.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94
I think it's kinda stupid. It's pretty much the same amount of episodes either way, but now it's going to be spread out over three seasons instead of delivered in the two they wanted to do it in.

What we may wind up with is all the dead weight going into one season with two good ones instead of having two full seasons with a little dead weight.
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.02
Interview with Lindelof and Cuse:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20036782_20037403_20038202,00.html

Lindelof: "In fact, one thing we discussed amongst ourselves while deliberating the pros and cons of the 3 [seasons]/16 [episodes] proposal is that we can't have two seasons of filler and expect people to hang around. We have to start giving answers now, so the show becomes more of an answer-based show as we work toward this end point."

Hear that? Less filler! Tastes great!






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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
I don't put too much weight into the "100 episodes" idea. They said "around 100 episodes", so I don't think that that number was etched in stone.

Sorta' like a Rainman answer. How much does a car cost? About 100 dollars. How much does a pack of undewear cost? About 100 dollars.



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Since: 25.4.03
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.27

120 episodes = more syndication $$$
EddieBurkett
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.76
    Originally posted by Mayhem

    120 episodes = more syndication $$$


Also, what are the odds that the 16 episode season DVD's will cost any less than the 24 episode DVD sets do now? Cuse and Lindeloff are still doing roughly the same number of episodes as they would in two seasons, but ABC is cashing in quite well off this.

I really think the only losers in this are the fans who have to wait eight months between seasons.

(edited by EddieBurkett on 8.5.07 1832)

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Since: 4.1.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.10
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    I really think the only losers in this are the fans who have to wait eight months between seasons.


I think the long waits in between seasons of HBO shows (and on FOX, the seven-month wait for new 24 episodes) have successfully taught the American TV audience how to wait for shows.

I thought I read somewhere that they're already in the midst of shooting the fourth season.



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