So much of telling a story is knowing when to end the tale. It looks like the writers of LOST now know how long they have to conclude the tale of the survivors of Oceanic flight 815.
ABC announced Monday that it would air 16 uninterrupted episodes of "Lost" from February to May in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The announcement came several months after executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, whose contracts were up this season, discussed publicly their wishes to negotiate a finite ending for their island mystery instead of letting the show stay on the air indefinitely and die unnoticed.
Overall I think this another groundbreaking move for the television show and a good one for the overall plot, story, and characters. The writers will now be able to carefully plan out the remainder of the story and not have it go on and on until it becomes a shell of it's former self a la The X-Files and Alias.
This does make me wonder if they're ever going to bring Walt back on the show. Say they bring him back in 2010 -- four years since we've last seen him. He'll probably be a foot taller and have a five o'clock shadow by them so it remains to be seen how the writers will deal with him (if he comes back) and all the other children on the island who age as well.
Should this prove to be a success, I wonder if we'll see more shows that follow a more compact season (16 episodes run back to back with no reruns). "24" has played around with the no rerun format with success though they run 24 episodes. If it works (read: television can come up with some quality programming) it means television networks could have a lineup that starts in August/September and a completely new one starting in January. Fox does this to some extent but with limited success. Not that it matters to me that much considering LOST is the only show I watch anyway. At least I get three more seasons of it.
The only downside I see to this new format is that after the season finale in three weeks, there will be a nine month hiatus until Season 4 begins.
I'm sure I'll live.
I'm just not sure how. :-)
For those who are interested, a preview of tonight's episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" can be seen here.