I am a huge fan of Lost.
I am a huge fan of TV show finales.
Unfortunately, these two things (much like two different Lost timelines) are on the verge of merging, as the countdown to the series begins in earnest now with just five episodes (totaling six hours) remaining). I’m not sure television (at least broadcast television) has ever seen anything quite like Lost, which has some pretty “out there” science fiction. It still amazes me that 10 million people watch it each week, and I wonder how many of that bunch only watch out of habit at this point, particularly has so many people have grown fond of bashing this final season.
Last week, my friend David Rogers posed an interesting question: How many people will watch the final episode? These type of pop culture events generally generate a large audience (see MASH, Seinfeld, Cheers, etc), as people clamor to avoid being left out of the water-cooler talk at work the next day.
Lost, though, is so completely different from previous shows. Watching the final episode without knowing much about the previous episodes would be akin to turning to the final page of an epic novel and expecting to understand the plot. You can watch the final minutes of Everybody Loves Raymond and be pretty well assured it would deal with everybody, in fact, loving Raymond, but if you think Lost is about people lost on an island, your head will not be able to wrap around the finale.
So, how many people will watch? I told David I expected it to be around 20 million viewers, but that might be overly generous. At this point, I hope it stays true to the season-long audience numbers – I’m protective of this show and am fine with non-fans staying away (we’ll call those people The Others).
I’m curious as to what you think – what’s your best guess to the final audience numbers for the Lost series finale? Leave a comment, brutha.