At the Television Critics Association tour, ''Lost'' producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof say talks are underway about a series finale

By Lynette Rice
Updated January 16, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Lost: Mario Perez

Pasadena, Calif. — Though no announcement appears planned for this season, the producers of Lost are eager to choose the date of the series finale so they can ”take care of a lot of anxiety and questions” about the 3-year-old drama, said executive producer Damon Lindelof.

”We’re in discussions about picking an end point to the show,” Lindelof told reporters at the Television Critics Association tour. ”The underlying anxiety is that this is not going to end well [if they don’t pick a finale date]. None of us wants to be on a stalling show that has one week where we we’re building sand castles. We [don’t want to get to a place where] we’re not evolving.”

”J.K. Rowling acknowledged that there would be seven Harry Potter books, so she was certainly driving to a conclusion,” adds executive producer Carlton Cuse. ”It’s time for us to find an end point so a lot of concerns will go away.”

ABC confirmed that discussions were ongoing, but nothing has been finalized. Obviously, a lot rides on the strength of the net’s current crop of shows and whether its 2007-08 dramas can someday take the place of a strong performer like Lost, which remains ABC’s third-most-watched drama behind Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. Lindelof has said he hopes Lost will sunset after 100 episodes (they’re producing No. 62 now). ”We look at The X-Files as a bit of a cautionary tale,” adds Cuse. ”That was a great show that probably ran two seasons too long. Lost has a much shorter shelf life.”

Meanwhile, it appears likely that ABC will avoid rerun breaks next season and run back-to-back episodes of Lost in either the fall or spring of 2008. The network had considered running the current season without an (interminable) down period over the holidays, but it needed the show in the September to launch The Nine, which bowed with critical acclaim but still faltered in the ratings. (Ultimately The Nine was yanked and canceled after 13 episodes, some of which have yet to air). ”Now our Sundays and Thursdays are really strong, so we’ll run 22 straight through either in the fall or the spring,” said ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson.

(Read Lynette Rice’s report about other news from ABC, regarding Dancing With the Stars, Day Break, and more.)