Monday, January 15, 2007

Will "Lost" End After Fourth Season?

The creators behind "Lost" realize the show is floundering -- not that they'll admit it. They're talking with ABC about when to end the show. And just as everyone from Popsurfing to Stephen King has said, they need to choose an end date -- the sooner the better -- so they show can build towards a finale. If they try to stretch it to five seasons, they're ignoring reality. This show should have been a season-long telenovela or a two year blast each January without repeats and with a clear end-goal in sight. A high concept show like this can't be teased out endlessly. Networks have to start thinking more like the British: some TV shows aren't meant to run eight years. Some are miniseries, some can last two seasons, some three and so on. Stop thinking every show must be a mainstay of your schedule for a decade to come.

UPDATE: By the way, ABC also admits that airing six episodes of "Lost" and then taking off a few months was idiotic. Next season, they'll pull a "24" and air all the episodes in a row without repeats, either in the fall or spring. Given the miserable ratings for most shows as reruns, this will have to become standard practice for ALL TV shows sooner than they expect. People will NOT watch repeats any more, not with hundreds of channels, digital downloads, free access to their favorites on network websites and DVD box sets at their beck and call. Also, it seems like the producers are going to announce an ending after five seasons. Big deal, with the ever-expanding cast and ever-shrinking ratings, it probably would have been cancelled by then anyway.

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