Damon Lindelof has spent almost two decades writing films and TV shows, including ABC's Lost, and his current series, The Leftovers on HBO. After 6 seasons of supernatural suspense, Lost had an ambiguous finale that some fans just hated. At the core of The Leftovers, there's yet another mystery that so far, hasn't been explained. As the final season begins, Lindelof isn't making any promises on plot, but he is vowing to stay off of Twitter this time. He talks to Michael Schneider about deciding to end The Leftovers after 3 seasons, and explains why his role as a showrunner puts him in an awkward position if there's another writers' strike.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Matt Belloni, editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.
- Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show after allegations of sexual harassment and payouts to a number of women surfaced in the New York Times. Normally a person in O'Reilly's position would be fired, but he brings in so much money to the network, that the Murdochs have been yet to act. The question now becomes, at what point does the pressure become so great that they have to make a move?
- Jim Gianopulos has officially started his job as the new head of Paramount, and he's already got a challenge in dealing with the whitewashing backlash and box office bomb of The Ghost in the Shell.
- Along with Paramount, another studio struggling with a lack of franchises is Sony. Its newest Smurf movie comes out this weekend, but up against a still soaring Beauty and the Beast and Boss Baby, the Smurfs probably don't stand a chance.
The HBO series The Leftovers is a supernatural drama based on a novel by Tom Perrotta -- who is also an executive producer on the show. Initially, the story revolves around a handful of citizens in the fictional town of Mapleton, New York, dealing with the aftermath of a rapture-like event in which 2% of the world's population suddenly disappeared.
While season one pretty much covered the entire plot of the novel, season two went off-book, so to speak. Perrotta and our guest today, Damon Lindelof, continued the story, adding new characters and shifting the action to a mysterious small town in Texas.
Now, in the third and final season of The Leftovers, the series jumps ahead in time to the days leading up to the seventh anniversary of the mass disappearance.
Lindelof was also co-creator the ANC mega-hit Lost. At times during its six-season run, more than 20 million people tuned in to see if those ill-fated airplane passengers would ever get off that island.
The Leftovers has attracted only a tiny fraction of that audience, but it has a devoted fan base and critical acclaim. Before the start of the third season, which begins April 16, Lindelof sent seven of the eight final episodes to critics along with a note pleading with them not to binge-watch the series.
Michael Schneider, host of KCRW's podcast The Spin-Off and executive editor of IndieWire, recently sat down with Lindelof, who tells us why he's against binging TV shows, even though he does it himself.
He also talks about deciding to end The Leftovers after three seasons, filming in Australia, where he stands on a possible writers' strike, and why he's never ever going back on Twitter.
Damon Lindelof, television writer and producer
More From The Business
Sean Baker on capturing childhood magic in 'The Florida Project' First, a news banter checking in on the Harvey Weinstein saga. Then, filmmaker Sean Baker, known for shooting movies on the iPhone, tells us why he went old school 35mm with The Florida Project, and how the discipline required when using real film actually helped him work with five- and six-year-old actors.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.
Directors Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton on 'Battle of the Sexes' Filmmakers and married couple Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton planned to release their film about the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs before the 2016 presidential election. Then their star, Emma Stone, signed on to make La La Land and Battle of the Sexes got pushed back. Now their film -- about a battle against misogyny, gender discrimination and homophobia both on the tennis court and off -- suddenly has more resonance than they expected.
'Will & Grace' returns to NBC, along with its original creators When Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick went to his long-time writing partner David Kohan with the idea of reuniting the cast for a one-off web video, Kohan humored him. Little did he know the reunion would end up going far beyond that one short video. Will, Grace, Karen and of course, just Jack -- are now coming back to NBC for two new seasons.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Substandard living in Santa Barbara Property owner Dario Pini houses thousands of low-income tenants throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, but faces over 3,000 health and safety violations and three lawsuits by the city of… Read More
How to prepare for an earthquake Thursday is California’s Great ShakeOut drill. If you haven’t gotten your earthquake kit together and made sure you have a plan, do it today! What should be in your earthquake… Read More