If you are a fan of LOST or, like me, finally started watching it, you may enjoy Alan Sepinwall's excerpt from the book The Revolution Was Televised. Alan explains how the "story of Lost makes no sense" -- and he is not referring to what you and I have seen on the screen -- but on "how Lost itself got made."
The promotional blitzkrieg worked. Desperate Housewives opened to more than 21 million viewers, and Lost (on September 22, 2004) to 18.6 million. Cuse was happy; though he had braced himself for failure, he had always believed that walking away from the studio deal could pay off.
Lindelof, on the other hand? He describes his response to those huge premiere ratings as "Terror, depression, anxiety, anxiety attacks. I'm not exaggerating. Everybody who was around me at the time knows I pretty much wanted to die, and knowing that wasn't going to happen unless I took matters into my hands, I just wanted to quit. But there was literally no one to quit to."
Cuse says, "I remember [Lindelof] coming in with the ratings after the opening episode, and he looked completely miserable. He said, 'Does this mean we have to keep fucking doing this?' If you're a producer in television, this is like getting a winning lottery ticket: having a show that's not only critically acclaimed but gets big ratings. But it was daunting to have to sustain this thing."
As the show continued to be wildly popular in those early weeks, Lindelof says, "I was completely and totally creatively crippled by people saying two things: 1) 'How are they going to keep this up?' And I had no idea. 2) 'They better have really satisfying answers to all these mysteries.' And I was like, 'We have satisfying answers for all the character ones.'"
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