Maybe it all adds up online

Times Staff Writer

Get ready to get more “Lost” than ever.

Beginning Wednesday, when the popular mystery drama returns to the ABC schedule with original episodes for the entire month, fans will have new and, of course, mysterious ways to get clued into a new “Lost” world that begins on the Internet but also will take advantage of “other platforms that are out there in the real world,” according to ABC executives.

The show’s executive producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, have created the “Lost Experience,” so assume it will be complex and addicting. But what is it exactly, and are those “other platforms” perhaps those gadgets we call cellphones and iPods?

“I’d have to kill you if I told you,” joked Steve McPherson, ABC’s president of prime-time entertainment. “It’s an all-encompassing experience for the extremely dedicated fan who wants to extend their experience with the show beyond the weekly viewing. It’s Internet, it’s mythology, it’s puzzle-solving and it’s games. It’s groundbreaking in that sense that it’s never been done before, but it’s hard to put it into a single sentence to describe it.”


This much has been gleaned: The “Lost Experience” is a story that is related to but separate from the television series, includes the same characters, expands familiar plots and will have run its course by the beginning of next season. To enjoy the experience, you do not have to be a dedicated “Lost” viewer, and fans who do not participate on the Internet will not be at a loss when watching the show.

“You might think of it as ‘Harry Potter,’ ” said Mike Benson, ABC’s senior vice president of marketing. “You don’t necessarily have to see the first one to enjoy the second one. The great thing that Carlton and Damon have done in writing this story line is that it reaches back into season one, looks at the current season and goes forward into the future.”

To find the new adventure, you must watch the show’s entire May 3 episode. TiVo and DVR-users be warned: There are clues in the commercials as well.

“It’s TiVo-proof,” Benson said. “We will surprise the audience with where and how things are placed as far as clues and content and information. The whole experience is designed to dig deep and find lots of interesting stuff.”