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
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