…we’ve got answers. Sort of. At least to one question, about Lost. In yesterday’s thread about Lost’s return date, several commenters asked how long the season would be—since, if the show airs weekly, a 16-episode season would end before the TV season did.
Before the fourth season of Lost, the producers and ABC reached an agreement to end it after three more seasons of 16 episodes each. Because of the strike, season 4 ended up being clipped to 14 hours. The network planned to make up the lost (so to speak) time in the subsequent seasons. This coming season (and I assume the last) will be 17 hours.
(I’m not sure, however, where that places the season 5 final on the calendar—though I could see ABC possibly wanting to get it out of the way of an American Idol Wednesday season finale.)