Because shows are only budgeted for a certain number of episodes and they need to have new episodes showing during certain times (sweeps weeks) in order to get ratings. High ratings means they get to continue to film Lost and we get to continue our obsession!
Why would this network put it's second most popular show (after Desperate Housewives) on a hiatus when the ratings are so high? Six weeks is an awfully long time. It's just like summer repeat season. Grrrr.
Well, since we're blaming ABC and not the show itself.....
I think the network is going to air the newer epis for sweeps so they're going for broke this season. And honestly, they needed it. This season rocked for them. I'm going to miss the show, but there's always basketball.
As much as I'm am not looking forward to LOST withdrawal the hiatus for the best for LOST.
May Sweeps = advertising $$ rates for the next year. Ultimatly, weekly ratings mean very little in terms of advertising dollars. It is the sweeps that are really counted. With big finale's, May is the month that groups are really looking at to indicate what is appropriate for next years rates. The higher the May ratings the more money the network can charge for the show, but more likely the show will not only continue, but will be able to possibly have a bigger budget and accomodate salary raises for the actors.
Without the hiatus, guess what important TV period LOST will miss? May Sweeps. If we go back to back we'd finish in April. With ABC having so many lousy seasons in the recent past, there is no way that the network would ever pass up the opportunity to increase revenue with fantastic sweeps ratings now that they have a couple sure fire shows.
That is just how I see it.
Well, that and the fact that we have what, only 6 eps to fill in about 12 weeks of season. And you have to assume that the last two or three need to be back to back.