It apparently will be announced soon that Lost will end after two more seasons. The producers have long said the story would take 5 to 7 seasons to tell in full. ABC and the producers have reached an agreement on how long to give the story to finish out, which apparently works out to 2 more seasons (the exact number of episodes and seasons is apparently “complex,” so perhaps they’ll call it a single season with lots of extra episodes compared to normal). This is a good development. If ABC has given the green light to finish the story properly and committed to two more seasons, this means the producers can pace out the mysteries having a known end date in sight.
I have to say, I have been very impressed with Lost ever since the return from the break. They have been answering some of the longer standing questions while opening new mysteries They have also shown that the people are talking to each other off camera, answering the long standing complaint that it didn’t seem the Losties talked to one another about what was going on. The explanation is that it would be even more irritating having to watch them talk about stuff the viewers already know. Exposition on stuff the audience knows would be worse than seeing them talk, letting us know they are talking about the stuff on the island off camera at least clears up the fact they are indeed talking.
EDIT: I just saw that the return date may be delayed to 2008. That is too long a break, don’t do it ABC. I don’t care if we get all the episodes left in one big set or not, don’t make us wait until 2008.
Meanwhile Heroes, long a very good show is coming on strong as one of the best shows on TV.
Battlestar Galactica continued to be one of the best shows on TV, though with the recent developments on Lost and Heroes, it might not be #1 anymore. It however won’t return until 2008. I am not sure who’s idea that was, but it looks like it will be the last season for it, which is why the order for episodes went to a full season instead of the half(ish) season that was originally ordered. 2008 is too long a break IMHO.
I have mixed feeling on the big break, big run nature of TV seasons of late. It is nice that we don’t have to have a ton of repeats during the whole season, but a long break from October or something to February makes for a long time to wait. However, it does break the season into two or three nice chunks which works out nice as well. I think it is probably better for the networks, since during the break of one show, they can show something else, allowing for a bigger show rotation schedule. Perhaps have one show start at the “normal” season time, break and return in February and again in May (or run from late February to mid May), then have another show air during the break each season. Some shows are already mid-season starters every year, mid-season is no longer the domain of just new shows to replace failed shows, but the time to return some shows. 24’s schedule is nice in that you get all the episodes week after week without a break, but I don’t think the networks are ready to make that big a move yet for every show, however, the changing nature of the way people watch TV might make it worthwhile for them. TiVo and the other DVRs, and online viewing have changed the traditional rating model, it is just a matter of the networks moving to that rating model from the old watch it live type ratings… even Nelson Ratings have made moves to account for time shifting of shows.
The way I want to do the shows I have in my head? Each episode would be 2 hours long and you get 12 episodes a year, so you still get a full season, but each episode then is sort of a movie and is made to pace accordingly. The read trick would be having stuff to fill the time slot during the other weeks. One solution could be to have four such shows in rotation, week one of the month show A is show, then week 2 show B and so on. During any extra days, some kind of filler stuff, behind the scenes or something. Actually my plan on a couple of them was to release at theaters first, and to get the theaters to go along, I give them a far bigger cut than they normally get from a theatrical movie. This theatrical cut would be longer than the TV cut, and obviously not have commercials. A couple or few weeks later, it goes to TV, at the end of the season the DVD comes out with a longer cut than the theater had on some episodes. Hopefully the theaters could charge their “bargain” price at all showings, even those during their more expensive times, to really help pull people in. Since they get a huge cut of the ticket (for most new movies, they may only get 10% of the ticket, with the rest going to the studio, a couple weeks later they may get 20% then 25% and so on, so the longer a movie lasts the better chance they have of making something off the ticket) they may be willing to price it at bargain prices for all showings. Perhaps cut them 90% of the ticket first week, and 100% the next. Perhaps, to make the theater experience worth while it can be done in Real D, Cameron’s Fusion 3D or one of the other major digital 3D formats. (The premium to see a movie in Digital 3D has to go if the theaters really want to make Digital 3D work.)