Almost two years ago I commented on the fact that the producers of Lost stated they had an 8 year arc in mind for the show, and how that was a really bad idea. Today in Variety comes a story stating that the execs in charge are getting antsy about defining when the show will end and that they in fact do not want to end up going off the air like X-Files. By the time that show ended, did anyone, including the majority of hard-core fans of the show, even care anymore?
A sign that they may be "getting it" comes from executive producer Carlton Cruse:
"The worst point is when a show ends and no one cares. We don't want that to happen. We want to make the shows good for as long as we do the show."
I've made the Lost/X-Files comparison here more than once and it's good to hear that the folks in charge finally have that issue showing up on their radar. They would do best not to ignore it and if it were up to me I would wrap this whole thing up by the end of next season at the latest.
There's more than just the issue of fans not knowing when this will end, it's also the frustration of not knowing for sure what "world" we're in: Is this Sci-Fi? Is it supernatural? Or will it all have some plausible "real world" explanation? At this point it's showing signs of being at least the first two.
Tell you one thing, it sure as hell had better not be what one commenter on this site suggested: The equivalent of The Matrix, where none of this actually really happened. If that's the case, I think one season would be forgivable, but if they were to use that plot device and this thing dragged us along for five or six seasons I think fans would lay seige to the studio. :-)
Even if it goes seven seasons (per the actors' contracts) that's too long. I say much better to end Lost while it's on top and leave people begging for more than to jump the shark, have ratings fizzle away and have the show end up on the junk pile of TV history.
Source: Rope of Silicon