In terms of hours, a TV series finale is but a blip. After a show premieres, it airs week to week, year to year, a running stream of middle and then more middle. Before its series finale next Sunday, ABC's supernatural island drama Lost
will have delivered 119 hours of story line across six years. Fox's counterterrorism action series 24
, which stops ticking for good the following night, will have offered 192 hours across nine years. Thats a whole lot of middle. And yet final punctuation is vital to serial storytelling success.
How will "24" (left) and "Lost" (right) wrap up? Well, if history is any guide, it could be a smash success or a huge disappointment. Take a look at how other shows tied up the loose ends.