In Depth

ABC: 'Lost'

Since the moment it first splashed into primetime in 2004, ABC’s drama “Lost” has been the epitome of a buzz-worthy, successful TV show. It also has been an award winner, snaring Emmys, Saturns, Golden Globes and now the Peabody.

Even though producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are well acquainted with winning, the news that the Peabody board had recognized their show came as a shock.

“Considering it was April 1, we were fairly certain this was a cruel joke. But when it turned out to be the truth, we were flabbergasted,” said Mr. Lindelof. “In fact, we got the news from [ABC Entertainment Group President] Steve McPherson, who simply e-mailed, “Did you just win an effing Peabody?”

The Peabodys cited “Lost” for “breezily mixing metaphysics, quantum physics, romance and cliffhanger action in a genre-bending series about a group of air-crash survivors on a mysterious island. ‘Lost’ has rewritten the rules of television fiction.”

Since “Lost” began, it has been a water-cooler show. “We appreciate the passion our fans have for our show,” said Mr. Cuse. “We try to make the best show we can every week, and we try to be bold, knowing that we risk swinging and missing sometimes. But we think the thing that would let the fans down the most is if we played it safe in our storytelling choices.”

One innovative choice the “Lost” creators made to satisfy viewers was to set a 2010 end date for the show. In American TV, successful series run until they’re no longer successful, however long that is. However, “Getting to announce an end date was the best thing that could have happened for us,” said Mr. Cuse. “We had all this story and mythology but with no idea how long it had to last. As a result, we found ourselves stalling.”

“‘Lost’ is an incredibly difficult show to make in all respects, and pretty much everyone who works on the show has in a large part given his or her life over to it,” Mr. Lindelof said. “To be acknowledged with a Peabody for that hard work and creative commitment is a really nice reward.”