ABC’s Lost (created by Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof) is currently wrapping up its third season. The producers of the highly serialized show have spoken in the past about how they wanted to set a specific end date, and now ABC have finally agreed. Variety is reporting that ABC have cut a ‘paradigm-shifting’ deal with show runners Damon Liindelof and Carlton Cuse to bring the show to an end in 2010. Originally Cuse and Lindelof wanted to do two more seasons, but the final deal (said to be ‘hefty’) will be to do three shortened 16 episode seasons instead. Although Abrams is no longer part of the day to day, he is still an executive producer and is quoted in the Variety article as supporting the decision.
From the article:
J.J. Abrams, who co-created "Lost" with Lindelof, defected to Warner Bros. TV last year and has been focusing on a new slate of TV and film projects, including the revival of the "Star Trek" franchise for Paramount Pictures. He told Daily Variety that he fully supported the advance wrap decision.
"Itis the right choice for the series and its viewers," he said via an email message. "It takes real foresight and guts to make a call like this. I applaud ABC and Touchstone for making this happen."
Although the show is no longer the monster hit it was in its first season, it still regularly wins its timeslot and brings in about 11 million viewers a week (plus millions more on ABC.com and iTunes). It also remains the top selling TV show DVD. Regardless of the success, it appears that Lindelof is determined to bring Lost to a decisive end. He tells Variety…
There will be no extensions or enhancements. That number (48) is absolute,…..once you begin to see where we’re going, I think the idea of sequels and spinoffs will completely go away
The show is also moving its premiere to January, so it appears that Lindelof will have ample time during the hiatus to devote to Star Trek XI.
More details on the Lost deal at Variety.
So, its essentially two seasons spread out over three?
Meh, this show lost its spark a while ago. Started out great, but suffers from the x files-dont-really-know-what-they-are-doing syndrome.
“Lost” sure does signify more than just the title of the show. I don’t think the producers have a clue what they’re doing.
16, huh? It’s funny how those numbers keep on showing up.
This is good. With a timeline set with a definitive end they can map out a story arc with a definitve ending. It worked well with Babyon 5. Now that can develop a story that will eventually come to a conclusion rather than make things up as they go until the show is cancelled with no conclusion.
Yes, they can- hopefully- map out a conclusion that makes SENSE, unlike B5, in which they DID make things up they went along!
5 – I loved the first ending of B5 (Deconstruction of Falling Stars) and the last ending of B5 (Sleeping in Daylight.) It was a lot of those other late episodes in-between that kinda drifted.
As for Lost. I’m sooo frustrated. I’ve joined many other fans in watching the beginning and end of the episodes, and watching The Sopranos (on A&E at the same time) during the bulk of the episode. I feel like I’m still able to follow the basic plot, which barely moves.
It seems to be yet another cheat from the network to drag that few episodes over three seasons, instead of two.
Maybe I’ll tune in for the finale in 2010. (Wonder if it involves riding through London in a circus wagon with Leo McKern?)
Okay, CmdrR. , I do not share your views on Lost — I still love the show, even though season 3 is clearly inferior to season 2 — but I chuckle at the last line of your entry. I have often seen parallels between Lost and The Prisoner. I like out-there, avant-garde stuff, but I honestly believe the end of the Prisoner is a definite case of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. I sure hope Lost rounds things out organically, even if the plot is thoroughly convoluted (which it is sure to be by the end). Perhaps, as others have said, knowing there is an end well in advance will help them to pace the story well and wrap it up satisfactorily.
Two more seasons would have been more appropriate. If they can spark up the storylines a bit and answer at least a few of the “big” questions sooner rather than later, I’d be happier about seeing it go longer. Maybe finally tell us what the Island’s all about, then start a plot line about them really trying to escape, rather than sitting around waiting to be rescued.
CmdrR., your probably right, they’ll have some “Prisoner”-esque finale which will answer nothing and piss off loyal viewers, which would be unfortunate. You can get away with that in the 60’s with a 17-episode cult series, but not after six years of hints and teases.
Lost takes place on an Island(S) nearly identical to the Shore Leave Planet
The Others are much like the Vians crossed with the providers
Lost is brilliant television , besides remastered Trek, is the only show I look forward to watching each week.
With that being said as much as I’d miss it I think 5 years is a good timeframe to pull it all together. B5 was nearly perfect (would have been perfect without the new age crystal worshipping hippee telepaths) in that regard. A beginning , a middle, and an end to the story. I’d hate to see it just drift or become stale.
L O S T is still as great as it was when it started. This really is the best possible news, ABC did not drag it out to long and Damon and Carlton go what they wanted.
4 8 15 16 23 42 – Is that the recurring number or your current Lotto ticket?
I loved The Prisoner, but it was a phenom of the 60’s. The more- questions-than-answers finale fit with the whole series. And it WAS only 17 eps.
I like Lost. I hope they beef up the story telling. I hope that for all TV. Part of me recognizes that it will never be the 60’s again. In this age of DVD, computer, and can’t-wait-for-the-next-gadget, you probably will NEVER see a good seaons of 26 episodes of ANYTHING scripted. Sure, we get Idol out the whazzoo. But, so what? It’s designed to be disposable. I look at eps of Star Trek, or even some of All in the Family. There’s craftsmanship that makes them fun to watch decades later. Now, I expect to get life on a Sopranos or BSG timetable. I’m grateful if I get 16 GOOD eps a year. I guess Lost is traveling down that road, too.
Always classy to go out on top.
The 3. Season is clearly the best so far. And they definitly know were they want to go with the show you can feel that when they talk about the show. And about that they dont give any answers. I think they give us plenty of answers for me even a bit too much sometimes. I like it mysteriose.
Last time something like this happened I Lost interest.
The Sopranaos took too long to get the show back on the air and I simply stopped watching.
and with this doing a measly 16 episodes a year for the next three years? Well I interesting is already waning.
I think this is a good call….a finite end to things allows them to map everything out very precisely. Other high-concept shows like this would’ve lasted longer (i.e. Twin Peaks) had they had a definite end date already in place so they could plan the story arcs better. We may see more serialized shows like this with finite lifespans in the future.
OK, here’s my billion dollar idea FREE for the studio/network brass to steal:
If you’re going to do High Concept shows, but know it’s going to cost more than you want to spend…
Do 12 episodes per year, one a month. Make them 90-minutes or 2-hours. But, give them to us on a fairly regular schedule with a minimum of repeats.
Oh, it is GOOD to make it finite. But two full seasons would have been good. And without waiting till January.
#16 – I disagree. Sorry but it’s too good an idea and many of us seem to like to disagree with good ideas. I thought today I’d be the first.
I am also glad they are ending the show. In the first season I was a huge fan, but the 2ndd and 3rd dragged. That being said they have really started to turn things around. Lindelof seems to be really keeping tabs on fan reactions as well. He was quoted in a recent EW saying that they killed off some new characters based on fan reactions.
They know they dont want the show to go down the XFiles hole of spinning their wheels and not delivering. This specific end date and Lindelofs comments about it being a complete end are encouraging. It is interesting that ABC talked them into doing 3 shorter seasons instead of 2 more (which is what they wanted to do). I guess it was a comprimise they could not resist.
But before Damon gets busy with Lost season 4…get to work on that little Star Trek movie will ya?
Lost has definitely picked up in the last 4 episodes to what I consider ‘classic’ Lost quality.
I have to admit though, 2010 seems a bit far off. I was kinda hoping they would axe the show next year and keep the quality high. I’d hate it to go down the Twin Peaks path.
Anthony, isn’t there some magic number of episodes for syndication???
Lost would hit a syndication number after one more ‘full’ season. They wanted to do 2 more, but ABC talked them into spreading it out over 3 short seasons.
that being said, syndication is not the be all and end all that it was in years past. Things like itunes and especially DVDs are huge now. Getting 3 DVD releases will be big for them.
HMMMM. I still say they are on a variant on the Shore Leave Planet and that the others are an amalgam of the Vians/providers. The final Lost reveal has Locke stumbling into another hatch with three cabbage head looking glowing brains under a plexiglass globe case. 4000 Quatlunes that Sawyer impregnates Kate.
Does this mean we have to wait until 2011 until we see our favorite LOST actors in ‘Snakehead Terror 8’ on the Sci-Fi Channel?
Snake Head Terror 8- Rise of the Greco Roman Snakehead Wrestlers
-Starring Bruce Boxleitner as Sherrif Jones
– Matthew Fox as Lifeguard Tim
– Jorge Garcia- as cousin Shirley the Trany Snakehead mutant Greco Roman Wrestler
-and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver
2010? If it doesn’t get canceled first due to low ratings. I hope the show gets to run it’s course, because I do enjoy it…and I hope they actually have a REAL course to run. I enjoy the show, but I really don’t want another X-files, where they created mysteries just for the sake of creating mysteries. To quote my favorite captain…”I want answers mister.” I hope they deliver.
Hmmm… I enjoy the show and while it moves slowly at times, going slow isn’t all that bad for some things. The last two episodes gave me the willies because there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on…until Locke’s father implied it last week.
The Island was hell.
Ben is the devil, the people with him (the Others) are of the devil and the rest truly are “Lost” souls. have you noticed that no one that has a back story has led a good life? Except for maybe Jack and that’s why Juliet’s trying to turn him.
Oh what fun this show is… and half of it’s guessing which way the plot turns next.
As it was stated earlier, it wins it’s slot and has 10 million+ viewers.
Doubtful to be a cancellation victim at this point. True?
Hell is three more seasons until we get answers.
Xai (#28), I think the writers like to toy with the “metaphysical” interpretation — that the survivors are actually dead and in a kind of purgatory or hell — but all in all the story of Lost is definitely rooted in a material, mundane reality, which is what makes it more science fiction than fantasy. Granted, they address the question of faith versus science, but ultimately both the survivors and the Others are real people in the real world, albeit a sinister one in which shady organizations can spy on basically anybody at will.
I like to think of Lost as a cross between The Prisoner and Stalker (by Tarkovsky). The island is like the “Zone” in Stalker, or kind of like the alien sphere in “Sphere” or the ocean in “Solaris” — it is an almost magical place with properties of a conscious entity, where what is in the minds of the inhabitants can influence the course of events and even physically manifest themselves (remember the “room” Ben refers to). The island even has its own “defense system”, and will try to protect itself from those who try to exploit it and bend it to their own will.
The Others do not respect the island for what it is, but try to colonize it and harness its powers to their own ends. Thus, they represent the most aggressive, arrogant, domineering aspects of human civilization — like the “Village” in The Prisoner, with its surveillance and sinister ploys and counter-ploys.
On the other hand, Locke, for example, exhibits a kind of reverence for the powers of the Island, tries to live in harmony with it, and even defend it as much as possible. Those who respect the island recognize that humans are not unilaterally entitled to take whatever they find in nature for themselves, but must exhibit a kind of humility and willingness to understand, cooperate, and coexist with it.
So, the island is not Hell, but it can be… it can also be Heaven. It all depends on your frame of mind, and how “pure” your intentions are, even –and perhaps especially — the intentions deep within you, which you may not be conscious of.
(gosh, I kind of went off there, sorry)
4 8 16, etc…
Yeah, you kinda did. I really wasn’t looking to have it explained to me and I really wasn’t thinking this was truly purgatory, or just a representation.
I don’t understand the “They don’t know where they are going with this” mentality. Having followed all three seasons so far I haven’t seen a lapse in story structure yet. And you can see that it is definately coming together and heading somewhere. They just may be taking their time with it, which I guess some people are too impatient about.
I remember similar rumblings about Twin Peaks. Granted it was a lot more understandable. But this was David Lynch and his films do not work in a linear fashion. But as it turned out. The Twin Peaks storyline did know where it was going, and when you watch it again you can see it.
My only worry about LOST was that it would become to successful and the network would keep saying “Can you stretch it out for just one more season”?
I am glad that they have set date, but I wish they would have not stretched two seasons out into three. Just give us two whole season and be done.