This morning, ABC announced that they’ve agreed to let the producers of LOST end the series on their terms — with one catch. Rather than two more seasons of twenty-two episodes, ABC will be getting three sixteen episode seasons. In an interview with Variety, ABC president Steve McPherson said:
“In considering the powerful storytelling of ‘Lost,’ we felt this was the only way to give it a proper creative conclusion.”
“I always said that we would allow the series to grow and give viewers the most compelling hour possible,” he added. “And, due to the unique nature of the series, 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.”
Added Showrunner Carlton Cuse, “I think for story-based shows like ‘Lost,’ as opposed to franchise-based shows like ‘ER’ or ‘CSI,’ the audience wants to know when the story is going to be over. When J.K. Rowling announced that there would be seven ‘Harry Potter’ books, it gave the readers a clear sense of exactly what their investment would be. We want our audience to do the same.”
Simply put, the announcment this morning creates a rare win-win situation for all parties involved. With a set end date, showrunners Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse get to see their creative vision through to the end, concluding the show on their terms. ABC gets to continue to line their coffers by stretching out the final two seasons of LOST into three. And most importantely, fans will not only have three more years to debate the finer points of the Dharma Initiative, a shortened sixteen episode season just eliminated the snooze inducing filler episodes (see: Hurley finds a Volkswagon). I wonder if Desmond saw this coming?