In all these years before the Lost finale, the fandom has been divided between mythology-centered fans, and character-centered fans.
Not me! I love both!
But the sad saga of the Lost
imitators prove that the characters must come first. If the characters don't grab viewers, they aren't going to hang around for a convoluted mythology.
You also have to give them something good each episode, without waiting for elusive answers. A good action scene, some hot actor wearing next to nothing, some witty comic lines, a touching emotional scene - those are the elements that kept people watching in sufficient numbers to avoid cancellation.
PS, the era of the Lost
imitators is not ending quite yet. NBC's The Event
seems like yet another entry. I'll give it a shot like I gave all the others. Hopefully this time they've learned what they need to do in order to get the show to work. When Cuse & Lindelof called Lost
a love story at heart, they revealed the secret of their success.