TV Club: Lost (Classic): “I Do”/“Not In Portland”

“I Do” (originally aired 11/08/2006)

The year was 2006. Lost was entering its third season, and although it was still a success for ABC, it was also creating some significant problems.

Broadcast television was not built for Lost. The show’s heavily serialized narrative demands progress and eventually closure, but broadcast shows are supposed to run for as long as possible, so as to maximize their profitability in after-market syndication markets and offer a launching pad for other programming. Broadcast television also relies on repeats to fill out the extended eight-month schedule, but those repeats were a point of frustration among the show’s fans, without the standalone value that makes reruns of episodic procedurals or sitcoms good schedule fillers. The show’s breakout success—sustained through the second season—meant that Lost was still a hit, but it was a hit that was operating against the grain …

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