May 29, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: May 29, 2008
LOST wraps up the regular TV season tonight with a top-secret two-hour finale that nevertheless reportedly has been leaked to the Internet. Despite the best efforts of the-powers-that-be, a beat-by-beat breakdown apparently was posted on at least one Web site. I have zealously avoided spoiling myself, so I do not know if what was posted is accurate. Nevertheless, hearing about the leak got me thinking about spoilers and the lengths some producers go to in order to fight them — or not. Consider this conversation I had with HOUSE creator David Shore.
Joe: Are spoilers a big problem for you? Do you keep scripts locked up under high security?
David Shore: You know what? No. We don't keep high security. We probably should keep higher security; we've been the victim of our own success. Stuff is leaking out there on the Internet, which is a little annoying. I try not let it worry me too much. I'm trying to tell a story, and in that story I want the end to be the end. I want people to be surprised when I want them to be surprised. And if parts of the story are leaking out, then it's unfortunate.
Joe: It is a fine line for you: You want to entice people, but you don't want to (literally) spoil them.
Shore: You’re right. It is a tough line to draw because of advertising. Our own ads on Fox, to a certain extent, show [some of] what's going to happen in the episode. There is only so much you can do and only so much you can keep quiet. It's a wonderful thing that people want to know more about the show; they are dying to find out. That is very cool. In my heart, I wish I could do this in a pure way, to have the story come out and people watch it.
Joe: Do you prowl the Internet, looking for tidbits about the show?
Shore: No, not really. I know that there are people who do that. I don't want to be to influenced by things. I've been fairly successful so far, doing the stories that I want to tell and hoping someone else would listen. Again, it's a tricky line: You don't want to ignore the people who are watching the show; they are the reason the show exists. On the other hand, you want to tell the stories you want to tell, and it's a tricky issue. People may think they want something, but it isn't necessarily what they actually want. People wanted House to get together with Cameron; they hated Cameron. They wanted Cameron to get together with Chase. They want House to get together with Cuddy. What people want [to hear] is who is getting together with whom. And, obviously, if we made the show just about that it wouldn't be the show that it is, and it wouldn't work anymore.
Joe: People may think they want to know secrets, but actually they still want to experience it.
Shore: Yes, exactly. It's like “God, I wish House was a nicer guy.” No, you don't! He is a jerk, and that's why you like him.
So the lesson here, people: Let the creators create, and you do the watching, according to plan, to get the full effect. Don’t be so eager to get ahead of everyone else.
Anyway, check out the two-finale of LOST, which begins at 9 o’clock tonight. There’s a chance I will talk about it in the next Night Shift, and you wouldn’t want to be left behind...