Lost isn’t like other shows. You know it, I know it and ABC knows it. It makes sense that Lost won’t be affected by the writers’ strike in the same way as other series. With Lost slated for return to the air in February, ABC will be banking on Lost for ratings stability in what could be a television landscape almost completely devoid of new scripted programming. Most scripted shows have enough new episodes to make it until the new year, but once we get to mid-season, the well will run dry. Lost, according to many sources, has eight scripts finished and six episodes filmed right now. With eight brand-new episodes ready to air come 2008, Lost will be in a unique position as the only marquee scripted show on network TV with a significant amount of new episodes in the can.
The competition for Lost will be thin. With ABC’s schedule presumably wide open (their only two big reality shows are Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor), the network can hand-pick the best time slot for Lost. If ABC is smart, the biggest criteria for choosing Lost’s time slot should be avoiding the long-reach of American Idol.
ABC and NBC are in the worst shape to deal with a strike of the big networks. ABC has Lost, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Wife Swap and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ready to go for 2008. NBC has The Apprentice, Dateline, American Gladiators and not much else. CBS should be fine, with Survivor, The Amazing Race (probably), and the first ever spring edition of Big Brother. FOX, of course, has American Idol, which is really all the network needs.
ABC has an opportunity, I think, to bring in a new audience for Lost. With so much time on the schedule (if the strike continues for an extended period), I see no reason for ABC not to re-air most, if not all, of Lost‘s first three seasons. Take a couple of weeks and air a bunch of Lost episodes, maybe one a night. The good thing about Lost’s ability to deal with a strike is that, even if production is delayed for, say, a year, it’s not a big deal because Lost is a continuing story with a certain number of episodes remaining. Lost doesn’t need conventional “seasons.”
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)