Promo poster for ABC's "Lost"
Promo poster for ABC's "Lost" - 
Listen To The Story


Steve Chiotakis: Tonight's the premier of the final season of "Lost." It's a cross between Gilligan's Island and Dostoyevsky. The plot involves a bunch of castaways trying to solve a constant stream of puzzles. That makes it a little tough to follow -- it's not a formula that's typically thrived on TV. So what's the magic behind Lost? Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports.

Jeff Tyler: Instead of dumbing-down the show to reach the masses, Lost borrowed from cable TV's business model and cultivated a small but devoted audience.

Joe Adalian is TV editor for, which covers the entertainment industry. He commends ABC for setting an end date for the show.

Joe Adalian: Too often, TV shows sort of linger on well past their actual expiration date. And the product quality definitely declines. Fans sort of get disinterested.

The series will end in a few months. But Adalian expects network suits will milk it for years.

Adalian: ABC and its owner, Disney, sort of see Lost as a much bigger property. I think they see it as a long-term franchise -- not unlike, say, Star Wars or Star Trek -- that can live on for 20 or 30 years.

Not everyone wants a sequel. Fan Ryan Ozawa likes the finality of the series.

Ryan Ozawa: It's going to be one great package. An epic, basically, that we can study like the Iliad for the rest of our lives.

For fans who don't like to study, there's also talk of turning Lost into an amusement park ride.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

Follow Jeff Tyler at @JeffMarketplace