For years now, the Lost series has been a part of the pop culture conversation. From its bold pilot to the polarizing ending, the show was a cultural phenomenon during its six-season run. It seems like series creator Damon Lindelof wanted a different path for the show however, and originally had plans for a much shorter series.
In a new interview with Collider, Lindelof gets candid about his time working on Lost. In an interesting note, the showrunner talks about planning the end of the show as early as the premiere episode. Though, the studio had concerns on if he’d be able to answer the big questions he was asking.
“I’m not trying to be diplomatic, I’m trying to give you the most accurate answer the way that I remember it, which is the conversations about wanting the show to end began as early as the pilot,” Lindelof explains to Collider.
“One of the notes that we were getting back from ABC was ‘When are you gonna resolve these mysteries? And once you resolve these mysteries, why will people keep watching the show?’ And Level One of that was, ‘Well, we’re gonna be introducing new mysteries as we go. So hopefully, for everyone that we answer, we’ve set up a new compelling mystery. If we get that balance right, they’re not gonna stack up.'” In a moment of brutal honestly, Lindelof said that didn’t go as planned, “I think that we can both agree that we did not get that balance right.”
“There were all of these compelling mysteries and so we were saying, ‘We wanna have this stuff answered by the end of Season 1, this stuff answered by the end of Season 2, and then the show basically ends after about three years,'” Lindelof tells Collider. “That was the initial pitch.”
But the idea of a short run for a series that was so popular didn’t sit well with ABC. Lindelof explains, “[ABC] were not even hearing it… they were just like, ‘Do you understand how hard it is to make a show that people want to watch? And people like the show? So why would we end it? You don’t end shows that people are watching.'”
Lindelof goes on to say the studio wasn’t happy with his original choice for only three-season, even going as far as pitching ten seasons. As you can tell, Lindelof eventually reached a compromise during negotiations around Lost’s third season, which gave the show a definitive ending at season six.
How do you feel? Do you wish Lost ended after season three or do you think the show needed the extra seasons to tell its story? Share your feelings in the comments below, or by reaching out Flickering Myth via our social channels…