ABC has found more hours for the final two seasons of “Lost.”The 2009 and 2010 editions of the hit drama will be 17 hours each — not 16 as previously planned.
ABC has added two hours to the show’s production plan because the WGA strike knocked three hours out of the current season. To partly compensate, the network recently added an additional hour to Part 2 of the season finale that airs May 29.
All told, the changes will wrap up the show with the same number of episodes that producers and ABC negotiated last year.
“We were supposed to do 16-16-16,” “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof said. “But we ended up doing 14 this season, so we owe two.”
Lindelof, however, ruled out the show extending beyond the remaining 34-episode order.
“(Executive producer) Carlton Cuse and I worked so hard to get the show to end that I think to suddenly say, ‘Oh, I think we got another season in us’ would be a betrayal to everybody involved in the show — but most of all the audience,” he said. “It’s better to retire your number at the top of your game.”
For the upcoming season finale, Lindelof promised a more action-driven cliffhanger instead of the mind-bending flash-forward time shift that stunned fans last season.
“The finale this year will not be as tricky as last year,” he said. “Hopefully, this year it’s a little bit more of a straightforward action-adventure narrative. But the ending of the episode will hopefully engage and intrigue people looking forward to the next season of the show.”
Lindelof declined to say whether the flash forwards will continue, but did leave open the possibility of the show’s main story line on the island catching up with the flash forwards that have taken place on the mainland this season.
“It’s very exciting that the audience is going to be wondering when is the present going to be (next season),” he said. “We’ve moved backward in time, now we’ve moved forward in time. The present of the show has always been on the island — that may not necessarily be the case in the future.”
When it comes time to air the series finale in 2010, Lindelof said he and Cuse plan to “go into hiding for many, many months” at an “undisclosed location.”
“David Chase set a great example when he went off to Paris after ‘The Sopranos’ ending, which is great because all these people are going to be asking, ‘What does it mean? What is it?’ ” he said. “The fact that there’s no one really around to answer that question, it forces people to come up with what they think it means. We can guarantee our show will not end with a cut to black, it will be more clear than that. But whenever anything you love ends … there’s a certain disappointment.”