How do you know when a series has ascended to a higher plane of existence and ceased to be mere television? When the possibility it might be pre-empted by the president’s State of the Union address arouses so much rancor that The Associated Press has to write a story about it.
The three-hour premiere of Lost’s sixth and final season is scheduled to air Feb. 2 — the same day Barack Obama is set to deliver his annual address to both houses of Congress and ruin television for viewers of nearly every major channel.
UPDATE: The White House appears to be backing off. No doubt at the behest of the powerful Dharma Initiative.
There’s now a Facebook group devoted to the displeasure this has caused fans of ABC’s mind-bending epic. It certainly is cause for alarm: Some DVRs have a problem coping with unexpected program changes, and, as a result, viewers can find themselves watching only a fragment of the program they set their unit to record. Last year’s series finale of Battlestar Galactica ran 3.5 minutes long, prompting warnings for fans to manually adjust their recording time.
As much as we need to hear what the president has to say in these “trying times,” people do love their television, and civil unrest is not out of the realm of possibility if they can’t see their stories.
Just last month, a provincial politician went Peanuts when Obama’s speech about the war in Afghanistan forced the Charlie Brown Christmas special to be postponed. He posted on his Facebook page words to the effect that “our Muslim president” arranged to derail the holiday program on purpose.
The show aired a week later, and Christmas was saved.
ABC promotional image for Season Six: “The Lost Supper”