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Carlton Cuse Explains Origins of LOST

Hey All,
Here is a cool explanation from LOST Co-Creator and writer Carlton Cuse talking about their initial plan for LOST was 12 episodes until they realized the pilot was a hit and started writing out the full mythology that it would take about 100 episodes.

Thanks to back_gammon for the summary of the interview:

Carlton Cuse: The thing that made LOST popular was the fact that no one thought LOST was going to succeed at all. When the show first started, the idea for LOST came from an executive at abc network, Los Angeles, and he wanted to do a sort of scripted version of Survivor, and hired some writers to do that and --- he was basically --- he knew he was going to lose his job and he put a lot of money into making the pilot of the show.

And then, he did lose his job and so abc had this very expensive pilot --- which they --- they thought the pilot was good but they didn't think it would work as a series.

So my partner, Damon Lindeloff, and I, who run the show, we basically thought that we were going to make 12 episodes of the show and that was it. And so we decided we were going to make the 12 best episodes that we could ever make for ourselves --- the ones we would enjoy the most, and that is what we set out to do.

And in doing so we broke a lot of the conventional rules of television, particularly for American television shows. We had a large cast. Normally a cast in an American television show might be 6,7, or 8 actors. We had 15 series regulars. We had very complex storylines. We had purposely ambiguous stories where the audience had to determine what they thought a given scene meant. And we also made the show heavily serialized; it required you to watch it deeply. And we embedded clues in the show. And we also had main characters who were bad people, like murderers, had murdered people, and none of these things were really things you were supposed to be able to do on a show.

We sort of saw as our model a show called "The Prisoner," a British show made in like the 1960's, and it was 18 episodes and then it was over, but people still remember it, so we said "We're going to make the 12 best episodes that anyone will ever --- it's going to be the best 12 episode show ever."

And then they aired the pilot and the ratings came back, and normally that's like winning the lottery. And I remember when Damon, my partner, came into my office and he had the ratings sheet and he was like "OMG, we're going to have to keep doing this!" (Cuse chuckles)

And that's when we sat down and started trying to figure out all the mythology for the show, and it was only then that we realized it wasn't going to be 12 episodes, it was going to be 100 episodes, at least, and that we had to really plan and plot out what the story was going to be. And so that's when we really figured out all of the mythology of LOST.

Video is here:

Source: AXN