Lost's ScheduleLost ran for 6 seasons from 2004-2010.
Lost Made TV Scheduling HistoryThe Lost show runners made history when they got the ABC executives to agree to the end date for the show. With popular shows, the networks want them to go on as long as possible, but because there was so much mythology and character development in Lost, the show runners felt it was necessary to have a definite ending date so that they knew when to reveal answers to the mysteries. Season 3 lagged as the writers struggled to find things to write about and the ABC executives granted their wish of an end date, which would be May, 2010. With this knowledge, the writers were able to move forward with every episode having a definite purpose.
The Plan for Lost's ScheduleDuring season 2 there were a lot of complaints from Lost fans because of all the reruns. Fans would sit down on a Wednesday night expecting to get some answers to the island's mysteries, only to see a repeat of a previous episode.
It takes about 10 days to shoot one Lost episode and about a month to get the episode ready to air. Yet Lost is shown every seven days, which means that even though the creators start putting together the episodes well in advance of the premiere, it doesn't take long for the episode number that is airing to catch up with the episode number that they are making. They can do 23-24 hours of Lost a year, yet the networks need to fill 36 weeks. All shows run into this problem, not just Lost.
What becomes the problem with Lost is that to have random repeats between new episodes confuses and, more importantly, upsets viewers. Fox had the same problem with its hit show 24. They dealt with the problem by not beginning 24 until January and then running new episodes straight through until May.
Lost creators felt that waiting from May to January was too long for Lost fans, so they got together with ABC to discuss what to do about Lost. The creators were hoping that ABC would allow them to air three pods of episodes with breaks in between. The compromise was two pods of episodes, which would allow ABC to run another program during the 13 week break. So, season 3 was broken up into two pods. The first pod consisted of the first six episodes of season 3 and ran from October 4th to November 8th, 2006. The second and final pod of season 3 ran from February 7th through May 23, 2007 with 16 consecutive new episodes each Wednesday night at its new time, which was 10 p.m. There were no Lost repeats during the break between the pods (ABC tried a new show, Day Break, but it flopped).
Again, fans complained. So executives and ABC decided to run three more seasons of Lost with 16 consecutive episodes each during shortened seasons from January until May.
Season 4 didn't run 16 episodes because of a writer's strike. Thirteen episodes ran and the remaining time was to be made up during season's 5 and 6.
Lost Season Run Dates
- Lost Season 1: September 22, 2004 - May 25, 2005 (24 episodes, 25 hours)
- Lost Season 2: September 21, 2005 - May 24, 2006 (23 episodes, 24 hours)
- Lost Season 3: October 4, 2006 - May 23, 2007 (22 episodes, 23 hours)
- Lost Season 4: January 31, 2008 - May 29, 2008 (13 episodes, 14 hours)
- Lost Season 5: January 21, 2009 - May 13, 2009 (16 episodes, 17 hours)
- Lost Season 6: February 2, 2010 - May, 2010 (16 episodes, 18 hours)