9:30pm Wednesday, February 10 on TV2

The wait is over, as the thrilling premiere of Lost: The Final Season begins, tonight on TV2.

Since Oceanic Flight 815 crash landed in 2004, the mysteries of the island, with it’s time travelling capabilities, deadly smoke monster, and esoteric indigenous population, have intrigued viewers everywhere. Now, it’s time for answers – in the climactic final season of Lost.

In the preceding season’s finale, an impostor in the form of John Locke (Terry O’Quinn) had brutally killed the mysterious island leader, Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) – and his dying words heralded the arrival of a sinister new threat.

Elsewhere, the ‘incident’ was raging – a severe electromagnetic reaction caused by the Dharma Initiative’s digging – and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) was dragged into the pit, leaving Sawyer (Josh Holloway) heartbroken. In the final seconds, she forcibly detonated an atomic bomb in an effort to stop Flight 815 from crashing on the island in the first place. But did it work?

Original cast member Josh Holloway is hoping the final season will allow his character a sense of closure, as he tells TV Guide USA.

“After six years, I love this character. He’s a living, breathing part of me. And I think he deserves a second chance to rectify some of the things he’s done. It would be a shame if he were not given that opportunity.”

Holloway says that he will look back at his time on the hit drama series, which films in Hawaii, with great fondness.

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to take this journey with this group of people, and with this calibre of writing,” he explains. “What it’s done for me as an artist and a human being is priceless. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

As the filming on Lost comes to an end, Holloway also reveals that the atmosphere on set has been one of camaraderie and nostalgia, as the cast and crew prepare to say their goodbyes.

“There’s an energy here now that is reminiscent of the first year, which was so magical.”

With so many threads to pull together, tune in for what’s sure to be a jaw-dropping and thrilling resolution to the global smash-hit series, as Lost: The Final Season comes to TV2.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Lost: The Final Season will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

When TVNZ told us that they couldn’t get the tapes for Lost until after they had aired in every timezone in the US, we assumed this was due to fear and lack of trust by the commissioning broadcaster and distributor in an international broadcasters ability to protect the show from being leaked.

However, it doesn’t seem to have mattered after some genius at ABC decided to hold a public screening on the beach in Oahu.  Not surprisingly, 12,000 people turned up and of them, plenty used their mobile phones and cameras to record the show and subsequently upload it to You Tube.

As you can now imagine, the legal department are playing whack-a-mole.

No sympathy from me!

Whether you’re planning to watch the Lost premiere in a few weeks (on TV2) or this week (you know how) this clip will whet your appetite for what’s to come…

And don’t worry, it’s not toooo spoilery, and you’ll inevitably end up with more questions than answers.  But that’s why some of us love Lost.  Enjoy.


Lost opportunity

On the 16th of November, 2009, TVNZ told an auditorium full of advertisers and media that the final season of Lost would be simulcast here in New Zealand.  We clarified what that actually meant afterwards and were told that that would be as soon as physically possible after its US broadcast.

On the 20th of November, ABC announced the return date for Lost in the US as being Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2010.  We had hoped for a Tuesday which would have been perfect as TVNZ had scheduled Lost for a Wednesday night here.

On the 6th of January, it was revealed in TVNZ’s planit advertising planning schedule that Lost had been scheduled to premiere on the 3rd of February, a mere 7 hours after it had aired in America.  Everyone got excited. The prospect of TVNZ screening a show so soon was inspiring.  However, that inspiration has turned out to be nothing more than false hope as Lost is now returning to screens on the 10th of February.

TVNZ tried to justify the situation by telling us that

due to a contractual agreement between the Studio and the Commissioning Broadcaster our distributor is unable to release tapes of the episodes to us before the completion of the ABC broadcast in all US time zones.

I guess as the commissioning broadcaster you have every right to dictate the rules around when a show is released internationally.  But hang on a second, tapes?

they have to physically take the tape to a completely different location and feed them to us via Satellite in real time.

Why not just get a file and download it?  Well, as you’d expect, a broadcast quality HD episode is large.  TV3 told us that it would take them close to three days to download something of that quality and would cost considerably more.

TVNZ also told us

We wouldn’t have received the master tapes until far too close to transmission (which wasn’t guaranteed in any case) meaning we would be unable to time out the schedule, effectively promote the show, add captioning and legally required classification information.

Stating that you’re going to simulcast a show to people you’re trying to bleed money out of may not be a guarantee and I guess the argument “as soon as physically possible” still holds true but for anyone thinking that things in broadcast television were showing a glimmer of hope, this situation proves otherwise.

So what does this really tell us?

1. New Zealand will never be able to screen big US television series within hours until stateside commissioners and international distributors decide to trust their international broadcast partners with advance tapes.

2. American commissioners appear more concerned about a tape being leaked by an untrustworthy international broadcaster than they are about preventing illegal downloads.

TVNZ are happy with how well Lost performs in its Wednesday night time slot and are complacent enough to leave it where it is.

One can be fairly confident that that complacency won’t be tolerated by those eager to watch the show.  As such, anyone hoping for faster internet speeds on Wednesday nights may discover the opposite applies.


Bad Lost News

Lost The Final Season

Unfortunately according to the latest Planit Schedule 20/01/10 Lost will now be airing a week later than originaly planned as is all new two and a half men, all new big bang theory and flashforward they will all air on the 10/02/2010, Bad Call TVNZ http://images.tvnz.co.nz/planit-data/Peak_OffPeak_20_01_10.pdf

When TVNZ promised advertisers at their 2010 season launch that the final season of Lost would screen as soon as possible after it had aired in the US we eagerly awaited news of the premiere date.  Our hope was that the ABC would screen the final season on Tuesdays in the US so that the Wednesday night time slot that TVNZ had scheduled Lost into would provide a waiting time of only hours.  When ABC answered our prayers, it came down to waiting to see if TVNZ would indeed follow through with their promise.  Now, it appears, they have.

This is an enormous step forward for television broadcasting in New Zealand.  As this story indicates, Lost was the second most downloaded TV show of 2009.  When you’re able to download an HD version of the show overnight, why would die hard fans choose to wait weeks, or months, to see how things pan out for the survivors of flight 815?

What TVNZ have done is effectively remove the need to download and that is the ultimate weapon in any war against supposed piracy.  Rather than complaining about lost revenue, create an environment that is better than the alternative.  To download still costs time and money and by bringing forward the broadcast date, TVNZ will have ultimately improved productivity.  Something that one can only imagine the ISP’s will be happy about.

It will be incredibly interesting to watch the ratings following the broadcast of the show to see what impact this wise programming decision makes.  Of course, it’s completely dependent on whether or not those with people meters in their homes also download.  In any case, it’ll be a fascinating watch.

No we just have to sit back and wait for TVNZ to officially confirm this.  Despite their Plan It schedule saying this is happening, TVNZ are still suggesting that it is dependent on sourcing materials from the distributors on time.

Then there is the issue of mid-season breaks.  With the series going up against American Idol, one would expect that ABC wont be wanting to give viewers any reason to move to FOX.  AI wont be taking any breaks so it wouldn’t make any sense for ABC to interrupt the schedule since they’ve made the bold move of going up the biggest show on Television.

The only thing that does concern me is whether or not the two hour season premiere will screen as one episode here.  The Plan It schedule only has one hour block set aside.  Ideally, TVNZ would shift the pilot for Flash Forward and screen it either the week after or the week before.  It would make no sense to go to all these lengths only to screen half of the season premiere and then put us a week behind.

Avid TV viewers will be desperately hoping that this move by TVNZ is just the beginning of steps in the right direction.  Understanding that viewers don’t want to (or need to) wait for their favourite shows is vital for the success of broadcast television.  Now, if MediaWorks can match this by fast tracking Heroes and 24 (as well as upgrading C4 to HD) we may just be starting to get somewhere.


Hot off the press from ABC are these two new Lost publicity images, rumoured to be full of hints about the final series.  Click to enlarge.

I had a look at TVNZ’s Planit Schedule which shows prices for advertising during different shows and it indicates that the new season of Lost will premiere 3 February 2010 at 9:30pm, hours after US airing. It will air after the new show FlashForward which also begins that night. http://images.tvnz.co.nz/planit-data/Peak_OffPeak_23_12_09.pdf

Is it just me or do these promotional photos from Lost and The Cult look like they could be mixed together and come from the same show?