Can 'Lost' find its way back to the winner's circle at Emmy Awards?
As 20-million viewers now know, not all of the questions posed by the six seasons of "Lost" were answered in Sunday's finale. One more mystery that won't be solved till July 8 is whether the show can contend one last time at the Emmy Awards for best drama series.
"Lost" won this top prize in 2005 for its first season, then went missing for two years. In the second of those, "The Sopranos" won the Emmy for its farewell season, having signed off in 2007 with an equally enigmatic ending. Like "Lost," it had just one Emmy win for best series before picking up that bookend award.
"Lost" returned to the series race in 2008 and 2009, losing both times to "Mad Men." Our two Emmy Awards experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awards Heaven) -- agree that "Mad Men" will contend again this year, as will "Breaking Bad," "Damages" and "Dexter." Only Boomer is buzzed about "Lost," as well as "The Good Wife," making the ballot. Rob thinks "House, M.D." and "Big Love" will round out the roster.
"Lost" leading man Matthew Fox has never been nominated for an Emmy, and neither of our experts expect him to make it into the crowded lead actor category this year. Neither do they see any of the actresses from the series finally breaking through and earning an Emmy bid.
However, both Boomer and Rob are sure that the two supporting actor champs featured on "Lost" -- Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson -- will be back in the race this year. O'Quinn and costar Naveen Andrews went down in defeat to William Shatner ("Boston Legal") in 2005. After winning in 2007, O'Quinn bowed out of the competition, but he told Boomer last month that he will submit himself again this year. Emerson lost to O'Quinn in 2007, and Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages") in 2008 before prevailing last year. Henry Ian Cusick scored a guest nod in the second season -- which he lost to Christian Clemenson ("Boston Legal") -- before joining the show as a regular.
Should any of the "Lost" cast find themselves on the Emmy ballot, they will be able to submit the 150-minute finale as a sample of their work. Performers do well with the Emmy Awards when showcased in an extra-long episode. Previous Emmy champs Helen Hunt ("Mad About You"), Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Jennifer Aniston ("Friends") all won with double-length episodes.
Last Wednesday, the TV academy announced that the board of governors had approved an exception to the rule restricting entry of extended episodes to just twice the normal length of the show. If "Lost" does earn a series nomination, it is unclear whether this super-sized episode -- if submitted -- will count as two or three of the six episodes used to judge overall production.
The board of governors approved an exception to Paragraph 8 of the judging-panels section of the rules: "The length of an episode submitted for individual achievement may exceed, by as much as double, the standard running time of the series episodes. If the episode airs in two parts, both parts may be selected as long as they do not cumulatively exceed twice the standard running time of the series episodes."
The series finale of "Sex and the City" ran afoul of this rule in 2004. It was in two parts, and although the first half was the standard 30 minutes, the second was 45 minutes long. As the combined effort ran for 75 minutes, it could not contend at the Emmy Awards as a single episode. However, Sarah Jessica Parker still managed to win her first Emmy, after five consecutive losses, for just the second half of this finale.
Photo: "Lost" cast members at the 2005 Emmy Awards. Credit: CBS