'Lost' Will End ... Sometime
Producers say they'd like to go out before they go downLOS ANGELES --
The idea, showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof said Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour, is to go out while the show is still strong creatively; Lindelof says they want to do the show for "as long as it's good."
Lindelof has long said he envisions the story as taking about 100 episodes to tell.
"Somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 to 100 episodes was going to be a version of 'Lost' where we never had to do the bad season, the stall season, where we had to back off the story we wanted to tell," Lindelof says. "Season one is the introduction, season two is the hatch, season three is the Others, I don't want to tell you what season four is going to be, and then there's a wrapup season."
By the end of next season, "Lost" will have aired 93 episodes, Lindelof says, "and I imagine that would be very close to where it would end ideally."
It doesn't sound, however, that any announcement about the series finale is imminent. Stephen McPherson, the president of ABC Entertainment, says that while he and the show's producers have informally discussed the "beginning, middle and end" of the series, there haven't been any formal talks about an end date.
Cuse, too, says that looking ahead to a finale now is "kind of a trick question. We're in the process of figuring that out now. It would be disrespectful to the process of those discussions for us to say, 'This is exactly when it should end, right here.'"
McPherson does allow, though, that he'd prefer to have a workable plan for the show's endgame, rather than letting it "peter out."
There's also the possibility that "Lost" could continue without its original team, but Lindelof says he doesn't have the sense that would happen.
"The good news about a guy like Steve or [Touchstone TV chief] Mark Pedowitz is that we all kind of looked at each other at the very beginning and said, By the grace of God will this show even survive 13 episodes," Lindelof says. "So we're able now, Carlton and I, to sit down with them and say, 'Remember at the very beginning when you were having us convince you that this thing could go for years and years, and we all agreed it couldn't? Now just because it's successful it doesn't mean that's changed.' ...
"We were surprised when we went to ABC and started having that conversation. As opposed to them saying, 'Fine, we'll bring on new people,' they said, 'When do you think it should end?' Then the conversations began. Obviously they want the show to go on as long as possible, and all we can say is there's a show with us running it and a show without us running it, and if you want the show with us running it, this is when we think it should end."