Like The Sopranos, Lost was a serialized drama whose finale had fans buzzing for months in advance. Like The Sopranos, the Lost finale received mixed reaction and, copying Sopranos creator David Chase’s MO, Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Cartlon Cuse too went MIA shortly before the last episode aired. On the Lost-themed edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live Sunday, Lindelof and Cuse even had actors from the show reenact the final scene from The Sopranos as one of Lost’s “alternate” endings. But will Lost be able to match Sopranos’ feat of scoring a best series Emmy for its final season?
Lost is one of three veteran drama series which ended their runs over the last two days, along with Fox’s 24 and NBC’s Law & Order. (Though L&O is still hoping for an afterlife on TNT.) Like The Sopranos, each of the three has one previous best drama series Emmy Award and is looking to add a second for its final hurrah. In addition to The Sopranos, only one other recent primetime series, CBS’ comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, was able to score a best series Emmy for its final season. (The Dick Van Dyke Show also accomplished that some 44 years ago.) Like The Sopranos, it had won another best series Emmy a few years earlier. But no series has been able to bookend its run with top Emmy Awards for its first and final season, something that Lost will attempt to do this year after first winning after its freshman cycle in 2005.
Among Lost, 24 and L&O, Lost has the best shot at a best series Emmy win as the critics’ support for 24 and L&O has waned over the past few years. The last time 24 has received a best series Emmy nomination was in 2006 when it won the statuette, and the real-time drama is coming off a mixed-bag final season. Flagship L&O’s streak of 11 consecutive best drama series nominations ended in 2003, and the crime procedural has not received any Emmy nominations since. In comparison, after not making the best series nomination list in 2006 and 2007, Lost returned to the Emmy field and has been nominated in the best drama category for the past two years. In fact, Lost, along with Fox’s House were the only two widely popular nominees in the best drama group last year, joined by cable series Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Big Love, Damages and Dexter. The Emmy Awards producers would certainly hope that more recognizable broadcast titles like Lost, 24 and L&O make the cut this year, and the trio of departing series will probably get some sentimental votes from TV Academy members. But speaking of new broadcast blood to the best drama field this year, CBS’ freshman The Good Wife seems to have the best chance of breaking through the formidable cable competition as AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Showtime’s Dexter and FX’s Damages are all likely to return, with HBO’s Big Love on the fence after mixed reviews for its most recent season. HBO’s other two solid drama contenders, David Simon’s New Orleans-set Treme and Alan Ball’s hit vampire series True Blood, both have hurdles to overcome. Simon has never received a best series Emmy nomination as his widely-praised HBO drama The Wire was never recognized by the TV Academy. And the Academy too has persistently ignored genre series, shutting out Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and, most recently, True Blood last year.