Lost is an American drama television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 episodes. The show contains elements of supernatural and science fiction, and follows the survivors of a commercial jet airliner flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, after the plane crashes on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. The story is told in a heavily serialized manner. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline set on the island, augmented by flashback or flashforward sequences which provide additional insight into the involved character(s).
Lost was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, who share story writing credits for the pilot episode, which Abrams directed. Throughout the show's run, Lindelof and Carlton Cuse served as showrunners and head writers, working together with a large number of other executive producers and writers. Due to its large ensemble cast and the cost of filming primarily on location in Oahu, Hawaii, the series was one of the most expensive on television, with the pilot alone costing over $14 million. The fictional universe and mythology of Lost are expanded upon by a number of related media, most importantly, a series of short mini-episodes called Missing Pieces, and a 12-minute epilogue titled "The New Man in Charge".
Lost has been consistently ranked by critics as one of the greatest television series of all time. The first season had an estimated average of 16 million viewers per episode on ABC. During its sixth and final season, the show averaged over 11 million U.S. viewers per episode. Lost was the recipient of hundreds of industry award nominations throughout its run and won a numerous amount of these awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2005, Best American Import at the British Academy Television Awards in 2005, the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama in 2006, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series. Users of IMDb.com Pro gave Lost the highest average ranking for any television series during the first ten years (2002–2012) of that website's operation.