“We can all agree that cable is far superior to network,” said Damon Lindelof today at the TCA panel for his upcoming series The Leftovers on HBO, which marks his return to TV almost four years after the end of Lost. “I think that when you slow the conveyer belt down, Lucy and Ethel, the quality control goes up,” he added. “[Leftovers] is a grower not a shower — not to compare it to an erect penis but the metaphor is apt,” the Lost co-creator half-joked. “The beauty of working with HBO is they say how much story do you got?” he said, adding that frees him from filling “weeks of episodes that are not essential.” Leftovers co-scribe Tom Perrotta and star Justin Theroux joined the showrunner onstage in Pasadena. HBO picked up The Leftovers up for series last September.
Leftovers is written by Lindelof and Perrotta based on the latter’s 2011 bestseller. With a pilot directed by Peter Berg, the 10-episode drama looks at the world three years after the Rapture took 2% of the world’s population and some of the unchosen left behind — though the salvation may not have actually occurred. “The show is really focused on showing these people’s lives in motion not delivering tremendous amounts of exposition,” said Lindelof. “One of the things I love about Tom’s book and the show in general is it is not necessarily for everyone.” Lindelof waved off comparisons to CBS’ summer series Under The Dome — but he did take a mock swipe at it. “The Leftovers will answer what the dome is in our second episode just to f*ck them,” he said laughing.
The series resumes production in New York soon for the nine remaining episodes, with an anticipated summer debut. Amy Brenneman, Christopher Ecceleston and Liv Tyler co-star.