With ABC’s hit mystery-drama Lost coming to its long-awaited conclusion in May – kicking off with the two-hour season premiere at the start of February – it’s no surprise that there are plans to carry the franchise on long after that. But what I didn’t see coming was any sort of new TV series or a feature film version, simply because Lost writers and exec producers, Damon Lindelof (who’s also the co-creator) and Carlton Cuse, have said that once season 6 ends then it’s over with.

However, you can’t put anything past studios looking to cash in as much as they can on such a lucrative property – it looks like ABC is planning more for Lost within the land of TV and even movies.

The news comes from Variety (special thanks to io9 for pointing us to it), which lets us in on the plans for the continuation of Lost in many different forms. Initially, this will be more comic books, games and novelizations, as well as special edition and re-cut editions of the six seasons. Heck, even a Lost theme park attraction at Disneyland is already being petitioned for (word is it’s actually in the works for real). But further down the line we could be looking at a new TV series and even movies of Lost, which means a new cast and all that – in other words, “Lost: The Next Generation.”

This isn’t just all speculation as Variety quotes ABC marketing exec VP, Mike Benson, on the situation:

“We’ve been talking about this for a couple of years now… We want to keep it alive but make sure we maintain the integrity of the franchise. We’re not about milking this thing for all that it is right now; it’s important to see this live for years to come.”

I’m not sure about that part about them not wanting to milk it. After all, we were promised a definitive end date back in late season 2/early season 3 when Lindelof and Cuse fought hard to acquire it. Now it appears ABC don’t want to let such a money-spinner fade off into the sunset.

Lindelof and Cuse most likely won’t be involved in any way with a continuation of Lost, and they would like their work to stand very much on its own. Lindelof has said – “People deserve an ending, and to promise a continuation of the story in any form in some way negates the finality in some way.” I have to agree with him on that one.

If ABC goes ahead with what they appear to be seriously considering then they’ll have to find new people to take over as the creative force and to me that sets alarm bells off. No one knows Lost like the people who have been involved in it on the creative side for six years, so bringing in someone new could be a big mistake. The only option I can think of there is getting Jack Bender or Stephen Williams (two major recurring directors/exec producers on the show over the years) to step up to the plate and take over. However, I suspect they’ll be of the same mind as Lindelof and Cuse. Benson says that whatever Lost becomes after season six is up in the air at this point, and it depends on whoever comes in next to interpret it.

 Lost: The Next Generation?

Lost... The Last Supper?

However, that’s not to say that ABC wouldn’t love it if Lindelof and Cuse stuck around, as marketing VP, Marla Provencio explains:

“Damon and Carlton laid such groundwork, it’s going to be a challenge for us, and we have to rise to the occasion… We have to find different, creative and innovative ways to keep the fans happy and to keep the franchise healthy.”

“It’s been such an amazing collaboration… Most of the time we were not just creating promos, we were creating content that surrounded the program. It helped define who we are today as TV marketers.”

Click to continue reading about the future of Lost…

lost logo Lost: The Next Generation?

Benson and Provencio would both like the franchise to be handled in the same way as Star Trek, with Benson believing that Lost could very well be a new Star Trek for them. As you’ll probably be aware, Star Trek started as a TV series in the ’60s but has since went on to spawn multiple spin-offs and variations in the land of both TV and movies, which is where I guess they’ve got the “Lost: The Next Generation” line of thinking from.

You can read the rest of the details on the possible Lost continuation here.

As I said up top, it’s entirely understandable that ABC wants to continue with one of their most successful and popular franchise-like TV shows beyond its conclusion in May. It’s just too much of a cash-cow for them not to want to milk it for all its worth – they could continue for literally years to come churning out anything with the Lost label on it and many fans would buy into it.

However, it still remains to be seen whether the show will have the same kind of staying power as Star Trek, as a lot of audiences out there will probably still be tuning in just to see what happens in the end. Variety‘s article draws a valid comparison with The X Files – that was one mega popular show in ’90s, but once it finished people just moved on, evidenced by the failed attempt at reviving its popularity with the second movie, The X Files: I Want To Believe.

There certainly will still be a loyal following for Lost who will buy the peripherals but a lot of folks still just watch the show for what it is – a TV show – and don’t go beyond that. Will they just move on once that final “LOST” thuds onto screen at the end of the last episode of the sixth season?

I’m one of those people who is looking forward to finding out what happens at the end of the Lost storyline that I’ve been following loyally for more than half a decade and am happy to see it come to a conclusion after six seasons (a great number for a drama series in my opinion). I can’t lie and say I wouldn’t be curious to see what sort of spin-off series’ and even movies that ABC comes up with for it, but I would rather they just keep it at these six seasons and just keep the candle burning only as far comics, games and special edition re-releases of the box sets. Like Lindelof said above: any actual narrative continuation kind of takes away from the finale, does it not?

In addition to that, a big selling point for the fans are the characters of Lost who have made it the success it is. It is a character drama and each and every character brings something special to the series and is lovable in their own way, even the villainous characters. A continuation would likely mean we wouldn’t see more of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, etc.

Would you like to see Lost continue on beyond the sixth season? Does keeping it going beyond the set end point take away from the finale and the series as a whole? Do you think Lost can become the next Star Trek?

The two-hour season premiere of Lost‘s sixth and (supposedly) final season airs on February 2nd at 9:00pm, on ABC.

Source: Variety (thanks to io9)