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'Lost' fans: Look out for that cliffhanger!

December 14, 2007 |  6:16 pm

Okay Losties, here's what "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof has to say about the move to Thursday night: It's a boost for the mysterious castaways because it guarantees that they will not have to face off against the "American Idol" machine and it also protects them from going head-to-head with original episodes of "CSI" as long as the strike continues.

"I think it's awesome," Lindelof said. "If they had told us last year we were going to get the 'Grey's Anatomy' time slot, I would have been thrilled, especially since there's no new 'CSI' to go against," he said. "But the time slot is completely colored by the fact that we're still engaged in this writers strike. It's bad for the entire town. The only show you don't want to be up against in January is 'American Idol,' and there were very few time slots that would afford us to not compete with 'Idol.' It's great to not be up against 'Idol' but [it's a shame] that we're not up against 'Idol' because there's a writers strike."

"Lost" performs better in the ratings when the networks air episodes without interruption in the scheduling. Lindelof and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse designed the new season as a 16-episode arc and were hoping the strike would be resolved in time for ABC to be able to air the season without
interruption. But with the end of the strike increasingly uncertain, Lindelof said Friday that ABC felt it had no choice but to go ahead.

"What I would not want to do is hold these episodes of 'Lost' indefinitely," he said. "I feel like the fans haven't seen any 'Lost' since the end of May, and I completely understand the network's decision
to air these eight episodes. We certainly designed our season as 16 straight and this is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. But we can't go on strike in one breath and then complain about the fact that the series isn't airing the way we want it to in the other. I believe in the strike and why we're on strike, so that supersedes what my preference is for the ideal way for the show to end."

Because of complaints from fans last year that the show poses more questions than it answers, the writers learned to wrap up their seasons more conclusively, Cuse said. To that end, they designed the first half of the fourth season as set-up and the second as pay-off.

“The audience just needs to be warned,” Cuse said. “There’s a very cool cliffhanger at the end of the eighth episode. But most of the major questions were designed to get answered at the second half of the season. The whole idea that we’re actually looking forward as well as looking back is something we’re very excited about as storytellers. But there is a fear that if the strike continues and we’re not able to complete the season, that people might feel a little frustrated because those eight episodes aren’t conclusive.”

--Maria Elena Fernandez

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