Back to IndieWire

“I’m Fighting For The Life Of The Show”: Damon Lindelof Talks The Future Of ‘The Leftovers’

"I'm Fighting For The Life Of The Show": Damon Lindelof Talks The Future Of 'The Leftovers'

For those that stuck it out with “The Leftovers” following the first bumpy but captivating season, and into the semi-rebooted season two, they were definitely rewarded. Damon Lindelof may have gotten a lot of heat for the way “Lost” went south, but the buzz on the show’s second season has been building. The opening stages may have been rocky, but this weekend’s finale certainly got social media and the blogosphere blowing up (don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, largely because I can’t as I’m still a couple of episodes behind). However, the prospect for a third season is still very much up in the air.

In a candid interview with HitFix, Lindelof revealed that the future of “The Leftovers” is uncertain, but he’s going to do all he can to make it happen, which accounts for his talking to the press more than usual during the run of the show. 

“…I’m fighting for the life of the show,” he said. “I think that if I were in a different scenario, I could be more precious about how much I talked about the show. But we live in a media climate where buzz is a very real thing, and if me giving an interview creates clicks or press or buzz in any way, then if the show doesn’t come back, I have to be in a position where I can say I did everything I could to propagate the life of the show. And that includes saying yes a little bit more often. I still want to try to limit the explanation aspect of the interviews: Explain this, explain that, what did you mean by? But just shutting the door and saying, ‘I’m not accessible and I’m not willing to talk about the show’ is ultimately going to do more damage to the show.”

And that open attitude finds Lindelof conceding that ratings were initially down overall from the first season, though there was an uptick as the second season headed into the finale. Moreover, HBO “is really happy with the creative of the show; they’ve been immensely supportive of what we wanted to do, and they’ve been highly collaborative and pleased with the results.” But it’ll be crunching the numbers and figuring out if “The Leftovers” makes sense to continue or not. 

“…if you ask me what my glass half-full assessment is, it’s that the way people watch television has radically changed, and I know many many people who want to watch it all in one sitting, or at least watch it at their own leisure. They will wait for the entire run of episodes to be done, and then watch it. My hope is, a few months from now, all the people who liked ‘The Leftovers’ at the end of the first season actually just binged it at the end of the second season, and we’ll be able to account for almost all of them,” he said. “My glass half-empty approach is that we started talking about what the show was going to be this year, that the show was moving, and maybe some people who liked the show last year, or were on the fence, didn’t respond to that idea and didn’t watch. That’s another possible explanation.”

Lindelof says a decision will likely come either the end of the year or in early 2016, which makes sense given the contracts for the ensemble run out around February. But just don’t ask him about where the story goes next. **spoilers ahead**

“…do I have a specific idea about what the third season of the show would be? Yes and no. Very undeveloped at this point. I think that’s one of the things that allowed us to make the second season what it became: I wasn’t distracted by worrying about where to go next, and was able to live in present time,” Lindelof revealed. “That said, there are certain things that we did in the finale of the second season that required conversation beyond the finale itself. Like, if Kevin is going to survive getting shot at relative point blank range, what might that mean for him moving forward? We shouldn’t just do it and not talk about. Some of those discussions led to what I would put under the heading of ‘third season story opportunities.’ ” **spoilers end**

For those who have been watching, are you hoping “The Leftovers” comes back? Hit up the comments section with your thoughts.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox