LostlindelofsoloIt happened about a week ago. I was on duty, sifting through a stack of screeners of second and third episodes of fall series, not feeling particularly eager to view any of them, and as my thoughts wandered I felt a pang of "Hey, wait a minute…" excitement.

The new season is underway, I thought, and that means fresh segs of "Lost" are coming soon…

For a split second, my mind raced, my heart soared and I lunged toward my computer to look up the premiere date. And then it hit me. Four. More. Months. Or at least three and a half. "Lost" won’t be back until early February. (I knew that already, of course, but after watching too many screeners in a row you often have to smack yourself upside the head to get the synapses firing properly again.)

It’s going to be worth the wait, no doubt. Our heroes — "Lost" exec producer/co-creator Damon Lindelof and exec producer Carlton Cuse — are using the time to painstakingly map out the flight plan for "Lost’s" remaining 48 episodes. "Lost’s" chief creative stewards and ABC announced an agreement back in May to bring the show to an end in 2010 endLostcusesolo_2  after three more seasons of 16 episodes apiece.

ABC’s decision to sked the show "24"-style without repeats over consecutive weeks makes perfect sense — ergo, the February preem date. It’s all very logical and forward-thinking, but when we were applauding these decisions a few months ago, I don’t think any of us rabid fans had a clue how tortuous it would be to have to wait so long. Drat and Deuteronomy!

But it’s just my luck that Lindelof (pictured above left) and Cuse (pictured right) were cool and kind enough to respond to a pleading email from a jones-ing fan. The two got on the horn last week to discuss how their work process has changed in the new 48-episode world order.

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