I wanted to wait a bit before I posted about the ABC showrunner panel, because a) I already posted about the "news" from Shonda Rhimes about Katherine Heigl's statements, and b) I wanted to think about why these panels seem to be so much more informative than the individual show panels?
We'll get to that more later. On the panel were Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Silvio Horta (Ugly Betty), Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (Lost), and Greg Berlanti (seemingly the rest of ABC's schedule). As you'd expect, Rhimes got the Heigl questions, Lindelof and Cuse got the most esoteric questions, and Chery made the most jokes. The funniest line, though, came from Horta.
Harold will play Detective Leo Banks, an agitated cop who's so afraid of being shot or attacked that he's never without his Kevlar bullet-proof vest. (Does he wear it in the john?) Sounds potentially funny. The writer of The Unusuals is Bones' Noah Hawley and the executive producer is Peter Tolan (Rescue Me, The Larry Sanders Show), so there will be an emphasis on humor. Maybe not full-out Barney Miller, but still funny.
We can thank the WGA strike, which knocked three hours off the current season. The extra hour will be added to Part 2 of the season finale airing May 29.
When all is said and done, the series will wrap with the same number of episodes that producers and ABC negotiated last year. "We were supposed to do 16-16-16, but we ended up doing 14 this season, so we owe two," co-creator Damon Lindelof told The Hollywood Reporter.
To help fans discuss theories and propose their own, USA Today's website devotes a section to fans' Lost theories. With these theories in hand, USA Today turned to Darlton (that's the common nickname for Damon and Carlton) to see if any could be accurate.
Earlier today, Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse held a teleconference with reporters and bloggers in anticipation of the show's return. They revealed, or at least hinted at, what we can expect in the season's final five episodes, elements of the season finale, and what they hope accomplish in upcoming seasons. Here's a recap:
- The title of the season finale is "There's No Place Like Home."
- When Lost returns, the show will follow Grey's Anatomy. Lindelof and Cuse aren't sure that the two dramas share an audience, but they are happy to share Thursdays with another successful show.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the return of Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty to the Thursday night lineup does make scheduling this additional hour a bit tricky. The original plan was for the two-part Lost finale to air over two nights, and have all three shows end on May 22. TV Guide's Michael Ausiello is reporting that the Lost finale has been rescheduled, making room for a two-hour Grey's Anatomy season finale.
There could be an upside to the Lost hiatus after all. On Wednesday afternoon, TV Guide's Michael Ausiello reported that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are in "advanced talks" with ABC about adding another hour-long chapter to Lost Season Four. The arrangement is by no means set in stone, but it is encouraging news.
No word yet on how this extra hour might be added to the season's remaining five episodes. We could get another episode, or the finale could be an additional hour. Would a three-hour season finale be too much, even for Lost viewers? How will this affect the scheduling of the two-hour season finale? Currently, the season's last episode is split into two installments that will air one week apart. Will there be room for this bonus episode now that Lost is sharing Thursday nights with Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty?
ABC posted another Lost audio podcast for the most recent episode, "Meet Kevin Johnson." Damon Lindelof rehashed last week's episode, confirmed the identities of the Oceanic Six, and discussed the remainder of Lost's fourth season. Here's a recap:
The title of the season's ninth episode is "The Shape of Things to Come."
We will learn more about the Black Rock and the four-toed statue, but not necessarily in a flashback.
The name Lapidus has appeared twice on Lost. Rick Lapidus' name was on the script in "Exposé," and Frank Lapidus is the name of the helicopter pilot this season. Writer Eddie Kitsis (who wrote "Exposé") loves the name, and wanted to use it on the show.
Nicolas Eypert, who was part of the creation team of the game, revealed in interview with a French-Canadian newspaper that the game will be a complementary experience that adds to the episodes, blogs, forums, and magazines about the series. The storyline crosses paths with the action that occurred during the first two seasons of the series.
One of the most jaw-dropping TV moment of 2007 was, without a doubt, the reveal that the Jack-centric season finale of Lost didn't feature a flashback but a flash forward (and the death of loved-character Charlie)!
Even if Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (with some help from Disney's security) do their best to keep the ending of each season finale a secret, the top-secret ending scene always gets spoiled in one form or another on the world wide web. When Internet surfers read about the "rattlesnake" (that's the how the top-secret season 3 scene was named by Cuse and Lindelof), the reaction was almost as big as when the reveal aired on May 23, 2007.
The trailer features scenes from past seasons as well as new footage taken from the upcoming season. The clip isn't that spoilerish but does offer a few good tidbits (and clues) to chew on while waiting for the season premiere.
- The WGA-East declares that "Ellen DeGeneres Not Welcome in NY."
- Lost's co-creator Damon Lindelof announces, "Television is dying" in the New York Times.
- Some soap writers are crossing the picket line to resume work.
- Today (Tuesday) was dubbed "Picketing with the Stars" as 100 actors from 30 TV shows joined the picket line at Universal Studios in a show of solidarity.
- Seventeen entertainment blogs went dark for a day in support of the writer's strike.
- Peter Chernin (president of Fox's parent company, News Corp) bragged that the strike is "probably a positive" for the company as it will most likely save them money.
- CBS News is preparing for a possible strike by 500 of their news writers.
- The Simpson's Mr. Burns tells striking writers they can't have the internet: "It's Mine!"
Lindelof didn't say whether this changes ABC's plans to run the season straight-through starting in February. I imagine that if we only get 8 episodes of Lost next season, they'll probably air in February and then in May for sweeps. Just a guess, though.
Lost's other high profile executive producer, Carlton Cuse, was also on the picket lines this week. He had a sign that said: "Do you want to know what the island is?".
As expected, details on the character Fahey will play are under wraps. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse revealed that the actor was their first and only choice for the role.
Thursday's Lost panel at Comic-Con had some of its thunder stolen by an earlier announcement at the Television Critics Association press tour - Harold Perrineau would be rejoining the cast. Harold put in a surprise appearance at Thursday's panel, but knew about as much as those of us in the audience did as to why Michael would be returning and when. Co-executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse did reveal that Michael is back for good - not in a flashback, not as a "guest star." No word on "flash forwards" or whether or not Michael would be on the island or in some other locale, but it wouldn't be Lost without its secrets.
Lindelof and Cuse were so reticent to let any real scoops out of the bag that each brought a bell on stage to hit if either started getting too generous with the spoilers. Unfortunately for us, they kept themselves in check. We learned some generic information, which I'll sum up after the jump to avoid offending the spoiler-sensitive amongst us.
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