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Lost: How Many Episodes Are There?

For better or worse, the television series "Lost" made a serious impact on viewers who followed the dramatic and heartfelt adventures of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 after they crashed on an island filled with mystery. With a talented and large cast, the first episode of "Lost" first aired on September 22, 2004. The series ran for nearly six years, with the season six finale, "The End," airing May 23, 2010. The show's official episode count was 121.

"Lost" was a deep character study, examining its survivors' past, present, and eventual futures, changing genres multiple times before ultimately wrapping up with a divisive finale after six seasons. However, the original intention of series co-creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse was to have the series run much shorter. But, in the end, ABC Studios asked for more episodes, finding a massive audience. But how long did the show officially run for?

Lost ran longer than the creators intended

While such a high number of episodes is rare for hour-long dramas these days, ABC actually wanted more seasons of the show. In a conversation with Collider, Damon Lindelof, one of the co-creators of "Lost," revealed that after the network agreed that the show would eventually come to an end, they suggested that there be ten seasons. 

Lindelof had other ideas, as he reportedly wanted the show to end after just three seasons, telling Collider, ""There were all of these compelling mysteries and so we were saying, 'We wanna have this stuff answered by the end of season 1, this stuff answered by the end of season 2, and then the show basically ends after about three years." His pitch for just three seasons was rejected. He said the response from ABC was, "'Do you understand how hard it is to make a show that people want to watch? And people like the show? So why would we end it? You don't end shows that people are watching.'" In the end, the creator and network reached a middle-ground after negotiations, with the show running six seasons. But, for those who wanted to see a more condensed story, it would have been exciting to see a truncated version of the show — but it ended up being too much of a ratings hit for ABC to abandon "Lost" after only a few years.

Lost has a secret episode with more answers

"Lost" was no stranger to having expanded media with multiple books, webisodes, and even a video game being made about the show during its run. However, some fans who stuck through all 121 episodes of the series are unaware of the existence of an important epilogue specifically designed to give viewers answers to questions they sought closure with. 

"The New Man in Charge" never aired on ABC but was added in physical releases of the "Lost." In the epilogue, Benjamin Linus visits a warehouse where two members of the Dharma Initiative are dismissed from duty by the former leader of the Others. The workers asked Ben questions about their purpose, leading him to show a video starring Pierre Chang, where answers are provided about the Hydra Station's experiments, bringing polar pears to the island, and more. The epilogue ends with Linus visiting Walt Lloyd, previously seen as special by those on the island. Linus convinces Walt to leave his mental institution, and the pair meet up with Hurley, who offers him a job on the island.

The epilogue doesn't officially count towards the episode count as its run-time is under 15 minutes. But, it's an incredibly important end-point for viewers as it answers some long-pondered questions while officially bringing Walt back to the island. For a show that has had several ups and downs and is incredibly rewatchable, the 121 episodes (and bonus epilogue) ended up being a unique journey that many shows have tried and failed to emulate since. "Lost" was undoubtedly one of a kind.