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Time Spoils All Shows – Has ABC ‘Lost’ Control of Lost Spoilers?

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 16

For obvious reasons, I’m not getting into breaking any Lost spoilers this season… beyond the occasional tantalizing hint, but much has been made of the recent rash of Lost spoilers and whether or not this is ABC losing a war against spoilers. It’s not.

In fact, more episodes of Lost have passed through post at this point then would be typical in any season, and the producers knew this would happen. At comic-con Damon Lindelof went as far as to make the prediction that you would be able to find out the plot of the first 10 episodes before the season started:

“You can find out what the first 10 episodes are about online before you even tune into the first episode of ‘Lost,'” Lindelof said. Cuse stated that upwards of 500 people have leakable info on an episode of Lost before it hits the air. This is just the nature of the ‘industry.’ The complex act of editing, duplicating, and preparing for promotion necessitates that a large number of people come in contact with material. Most authentic ‘spoilers’ are produced when someone in that process violates the trust of their employer. But we’re not discussing the nobility of spoiling.

The bottom line is, the Lost guys knew that by airing the show midseason there would be a higher level of spoilers available. They looked to us to temper that. That doesn’t mean that only those of us with intel make wiser choices, it also means that bloggers monitor their comments, forum moderators watch their posts, etc., etc.

The idea that ABC is losing the ability to control spoilers is absurd. If the show were airing on a normal schedule, we’d be well beyond episode 12 at this point and the fourth episode was spoiled, what, a couple of weeks ago? By contrast, I’d say the network has done a great job.

  • James

    I agree. I hate myself for reading lf108 last year, but this year I’m avoiding all huge spoilers. I figure I’ve waited 8 months for this, why the hell would I spoil all that now? In a way, the longer wait makes you appreciate the show more.

  • KeepingAwake

    Do other shows that run on this schedule, like 24 or pay cable shows like Dexter, etc., have these issues?

    If they don’t, then it is clearly an ABC problem.

    If they do, then it is a fandom and fansite issue.

  • DocArzt

    Many of them are spoiled worse than Lost. It’s a misperception that putting together these shows is an insulated process.

  • autochthonous

    It’s relatively easy to get a hold of copies of just about anything in Hollywood, if you know the right people or happen to be in the right place at the right time.

    I had a friend who watched 20 minutes of “There Will Be Blood” over the summer, just because he happened to be passing by a screening room and watched through the projector’s window.

    Like Doc’s quote of Damon Lindelof said, about 500 people get access to the show before it airs. If they all show a friend, then those friends show a friend and so on and so forth, you’ve got a problem.

    Besides, ABC shouldn’t be spending money trying to keep people from watching their shows early; they should be spending the money on making the shows good.

  • John J

    Although spoilers do just that spoil. Speaking for myself only. I like spoilers, but appreciate seeing how the who show unfolds and wraps itself up at the same time. This is only the second show I have ever read/searched for spoilers. By reading spoilers it helps with gathering your own thoughts and coming up with a clear (or in) Lost’s case, a not so clear theory on the where the show is and where it will end up going.

  • Annli

    Spoiler sites are enablers to spoiler addicts. If they acted responsible & not worry about pleasing the posters the shows wouldn’t be spoiled.

    People would live with only teases & hints. They would probably enjoy it much better.

    I love Dexter & the last two whole episodes of that were leaked to the public(you could download it off bit torrent). Now thats really getting spoiled & wrong.

  • Robot


    please dont think your speaking for the majority of people saying “they would probably enjoy it much better” i dont read spoilers that often but people should be able to read them if they want, i have based alot of shows i watch on the spoilers released because they also give a insight into how good it could be

    An your “Dexter” show was leaked onto torrents ?? so?? if you didnt download them you would been fine and just watched the tv episode when it aired ??

  • Annli

    Sorry but I do believe people would enjoy a finale or episode better if they haven’t been spoiled. That’s my opinion and I have a right to it.

    See I don’t feel like people should be able to read them because of the ones that want to spoil it for everyone. If everyone acted responsible with them then maybe I would have a different opinion.

    Just like the Dexter leak, you might choose not to download it. I didn’t, but got spoiled because someone posted what happened all over the place, on a board that wasn’t even about Dexter.

    This is the reason I am against spoilers being out there. There is always a few hateful people that want to ruin it for everyone else.

  • DocArzt

    There are two issues here, should people be allowed to read what they want and would shows be more enjoyable without spoilers.

    Of course people should be able to read what they want. To think anything else would be preposterous. Free speech does have limits though, if you post spoilers where they shouldn’t be, you’re at best reckless and at worst a scumbug who delights in ruining it for other people.

    On the matter of would it be more enjoyable without them. Duh. Come on, it’s just as preposterous as saying people should or shouldn’t have a ‘right’ to the information. Stories are written from the presumption that you are seeing everything for the first time. If you know what is coming, you’re not going to be surprised in the context of the show because you’ve already reconciled it. Don’t be foolish. The way it is intended to be seen is always the best way to watch it. Spoilers are for looking cool in front of your friends.

  • Jamie

    Well Doc if you want to be spoiler free go to the only spoiler free lost forum on the Web:

    Those guys do a great job of keeping spoiler free whilst having great lost content. I’d rather be safe than spoiled.

    I’m keeping spoiler free, it’s just better that way.

  • Robot

    I agree with you Doc on the point that people who go out of there way to show spoilers on forums without any prior warning should be shot ! but i also believe spoilers are a fundermental part of the TV industry, it hypes up new shows, can draw back viewers after a few bad episodes and yes like you also said, to get one up on your friends.

    Studio’s and other high flyers can put on the act that they care about spoiler leaks but nothing ever is hardly done, an anyone who has been able to see the new episodes of the new season is the prime example of Studios not caring about spoilers.

    its all a front because they know how many viewers spoilers bring !

    if spoilers were ever stopped (unlikley) studios would still leak it out to people !

  • karl

    Robot…….. best … post ….. ever

    100% agree

    I must be one of the few who enjoy the episode more after knowing the spoilers.

  • KeepingAwake

    Huh, Dark just did it again–ruined the premiere.

    So I guess that means that either a) his lawyers told him not to worry, or b) ABC doesn’t know that it’s out there yet.

  • karl

    how did he ruin the premiere you idiot?no one is forcing you to read them.

  • DocArzt

    Karl, Dark’s readership by and large will be cool, but many will no doubt infiltrate theory threads and comments on theory posts elsewhere. So…. it begins.

    Robot, actually a lot is done. ABC put a bunch of money into a security audit after LF108, and they’ve wanted insider scoop for a while. Aside from that, I agree with you about spoilers being part of the marketing. For me, that is why the term “ruiner” was coined. Spoilers can be very intriguing and there are a number of writers in the big media that have a special mastery over how to present it.

    Don’t get caught up in the ego-mania of spoiler hounds though. Spoilers are a minor part of the industry. the term “Lost Spoilers” generated around 286k search queries last month. Given that Lost has a global audience in excess of fifty million viewers, that’s around .5% of the audience. Naturally, a lot of people find them without searching because they know where to look, but that at best raises it 1%, and that is getting pretty generous. I doubt the networks even get moderately excited over something that reaches 1% of their audience.

    The biggest misconception here though, I suppose, is that spoilers reach new viewers. Most of the people looking at spoilers are probably already fans of the show. Therefore, there really is more to lose if a fan decides not to watch because the spoiler sounded ‘lame.’

  • KeepingAwake

    Karl, thanks so much for hurling insults my way! Glad to know that we are all adults and capable of being civil to one another. *rolls eyes* Your attitude is not helping anyone to take your points under serious consideration, fyi.

    No, I did not read it. But as Doc said, once it’s out there, it’s out there. All the ruiners eventually (and sometimes quickly) show up in other places and without any warning. These will as well. It’s just the way it goes.