1. While on vacation with his family in Hawaii in the summer of 2003, the then-chairman of ABC Entertainment, Lloyd Braun, watched the network’s broadcast of Cast Away and thought the concept would make for an interesting show.
2. Braun had liked the name Lost ever since an NBC reality show launched with the name in 2001.
3. The room fell “dead silent” after he pitched the idea during an ABC corporate retreat shortly thereafter.
4. But ABC’s head of drama development, Thom Sherman, liked the idea and hired fledgling writer Jeffrey Lieber (Tuck Everlasting) to work on it.
5. In his first draft, Lieber changed the title of the proposed series to Nowhere. The draft did not live up to Braun’s expectations and Lieber was taken off the project. Braun reached out to J.J. Abrams, who was still working on Alias. (Lieber, however, would go on to receive a “created by” credit on the completed show.)
6. Because Abrams was so busy, the network also approached young writer Damon Lindelof, who wanted nothing more than to get a job on Alias. He had been in touch with ABC drama executive Heather Kadin, hoping she’d help make it happen.
7. Among Lindelof’s initial pitches to Abrams was the suggestion that the castaways discover a hatch in the middle of the jungle and spend the whole first season trying to open it.
8. Abrams originally wanted Michael Keaton for the role of Jack.
9. The character of Jack was supposed to die midway through the pilot episode.
10. Steve McPherson, the then-president of ABC, argued that killing Jack would make viewers not trust the show. When the plan changed, Keaton was out.
11. Jack’s death scene instead went to Oceanic 815’s co-pilot (played by Greg Grunberg, Abrams’ friend since kindergarten and a former star of two of his other series, Alias and Felicity).
12. Forest Whitaker was originally cast as Sawyer, but backed out to direct First Daughter, which coincidentally starred Michael Keaton as the president of the United States.
13. The story goes that, though Sawyer was originally meant to be an older city con artist from Buffalo, N.Y., Holloway forgot a line at his audition and subsequently kicked a chair and loudly swore in frustration. The writers reportedly liked the edge he brought to the character and decided to write Sawyer as more of a Southern con man instead.
14. Yunjin Kim initially read for the role of Kate, since Sun didn’t exist at the time — there wasn’t even a Lost script yet.
15. The writers created the character of Sun after their first impressions of Kim.
16. Abrams first noticed Jorge Garcia on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and was determined to cast him.
17. Garcia initially read for the role of Sawyer because Hurley didn’t even exist yet either.
18. The writers then also created the character of Hurley based on him.
19. Dominic Monaghan also read for Sawyer, before being cast as Charlie.
20. The only member of the principal cast who didn’t have to audition was Terry O’Quinn, who had worked with Abrams on Alias. (He played FBI Director Kendall.)
21. The two-hour Lost pilot cost a reported $13 million.
22. It came in under budget.
23. The polar bear who charges at Sawyer in pilot was originally going to be a wild boar.
24. Some viewers thought the Dharma Initiative logo made an appearance in the pilot behind Walt in the plane wreckage. But it wasn’t created until Season 2.
25. In Season 2, Episode 2 (“Adrift”), there is a Dharma Initiative logo on a shark’s tail when Michael is pulling Sawyer back onto the raft.
26. And the Dharma Initiative was originally called Medusa Corp.
27. Remember Lloyd Braun, the then-chairman of ABC? Braun provided the voice of the “Previously on Lost” intro, which ran at the start of each episode.
28. Executive producer Carlton Cuse and Lindelof had wanted to cast Lance Reddick for the part of Mr. Eko, but he was unavailable due to The Wire. Reddick eventually joined the show in Season 4 as Matthew Abaddon, a mysterious employee of Charles Widmore.
29. With Reddick unavailable, the producers reached out to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who was starring on HBO’s prison drama Oz.
30. The name Mr. Eko was Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s own creation. He suggested they change the original name of his character, Omecca, to Eko, which is consistent with the actor’s own Nigerian tribal lineage. He also noted they should add a “Mr.” “Carlton and I looked at each other like it was the silliest thing in the world,” Lindelof said. “Then we kept saying it, and we realized there was something really cool about it.”
31. The original plan was for Mr. Eko to stay on the show four seasons, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje was released from his contract after only one season because he wanted off the show.
32. Locke’s backstory was created because O’Quinn would take breaks in between scenes on the beach while listening to his iPod. “That guy has a secret,” Abrams told Lindelof. “You figure it out.”
33. Ian Somerhalder (Boone) was the first actor cast on the show.
34. Somerhalder was also the first to be killed off.
35. Cuse was stuck on the last number of the notorious 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 number combination. He came up with the idea of 42 as an homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which it’s the “Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Lindelof had the same idea, which made it official.
36. Of the six numbers, 23 is used the most.
37. The first four numbers appear in ABC Studios’ logo.
38. In a flashback scene in Season 1, Episode 15 (“Homecoming”), Charlie’s at a bar with a fellow heroin addict friend, who points out Lucy Heatherton (Sally Strecker), a potential victim for a scam to score more drugs. She tells Charlie that her father is out of town buying a paper company in Slough, a reference to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The Office in the U.K.
39. Brittany Perrineau, the real-life wife of actor Harold Perrineau (Michael), appeared on the show as Mary Jo, Sawyer’s girlfriend, in Season 1, Episode 16 (“Outlaws”).
40. In Ben Linus’ flashback scenes, Carrie Preston — who is the real-life wife of Michael Emerson (adult Ben) — plays young Ben’s mother.
41. The first raft that was built sank in Season 1. And the second one was too fast and kept outracing the camera boat.
42. While shooting “Exodus,” the Season 1 finale, the guys on the raft all mooned Maggie Grace (Shannon) at once.
43. And in that scene, “Vincent” improvised and just swam out after them.
44. Walt’s dog Vincent was actually played by a female yellow Lab named Madison.
45. When filming their makeout scene, Grace pulled a prank on Somerhalder by smoking a cigar, filling her mouth with minced garlic, and stuffing an oversized athletic cup down her pants.
46. Evangeline Lilly (Kate) took home the original ”Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter as a keepsake during Season 1, but it burned in the fire that destroyed her home in 2006.
47. In “Everybody Hates Hugo” (Season 2, Episode 4), Hurley has a dream in which he chugs some milk from the hatch and on the carton, Walt’s picture is plastered under the word “MISSING.”
48. O’Quinn would walk 12 miles to and from set.
49. The stand-in for Baby Aaron was a doll named Jane.
50. Lindelof is a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and invited creator/star Rob McElhenney to play Aldo in Season 3 of Lost.
51. During that same season, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) called Lindelof and Cuse before he bought a house in Hawaii to ask them if they planned on killing Jin off.
52. Yunjin Kim approached Cuse and told him that her onscreen husband wasn’t actually speaking Korean.
53. In the Season 3 finale, Jack visits a funeral parlor called Hoffs/Drawlar, which is an anagram for “flash-forward” and this was the first episode that utilized that time-traveling storytelling devise.
54. Locke’s coffin is transported from the funeral parlor to Ben’s Canton-Rainier Carpet Cleaning van in “The Little Prince” (Season 5, Episode 4) — “Canton-Rainer” is an anagram for “reincarnation.”
55. And Mittelos Bioscience, the Others’ front science organization to recruit people from the outside world, is an anagram for “lost time.”
56. AND Ethan Rom (William Mapother) is an anagram for “other man.”
57. When Jin is speaking with Byung Han, the Secretary of Environmental Safety, in “…In Translation” (Season 1, Episode 17), the latter’s daughter is watching TV and Hurley is on the news at the gas station.
58. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) can also be seen on TV while Kate is in Sam Austen’s (Lindsey Ginter) office in “What Kate Did” (Season 2, Episode 9).
59. Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro) came to the forefront of the show in Season 3 because fans wanted to know more about everyone else on the island.
60. But even before fans turned on the ill-fated Oceanic 815 survivors, Cuse and Lindelof realized they hated the characters too. “We had a very elaborate story worked out for them which would span one season or more, but we condensed it into one episode where we buried them alive,” Cuse said.
61. Nikki’s show Exposé can be seen in four episodes: Locke watches it while eating a TV dinner in “The Man from Tallahassee” (Season 3, Episode 13); Nikki films it in “Exposé” (Season 3, Episode 14); Sun watches it, dubbed over in Korean in “Ji Yeon” (Season 4, Episode 7); and Hurley’s dad is watching it before Hurley comes in with an unconscious Sayid in “The Lie” (Season 5, Episode 2).
62. Yunjin Kim and Cynthia Watros graduated from the British American Drama Academy together.
63. Michael Giacchino, who scored Lost, used some of the plane’s parts for percussion.
64. No cast member appears in every episode of Lost.
65. But Jorge Garcia was in the most episodes (118 of 121).
66. Dominic Monaghan was snorting brown sugar in Charlie’s heroin-snorting scenes.
67. DriveSHAFT’s hit song “You All Everybody” plays in the background of an episode of Alias Season 4 when Sydney (Jennifer Garner) and Jack Bristow (Victor Garber) talk outside Weiss’ (Greg Grunberg, again!) birthday party.
68. Cuse does the narration in the commercials for the Hanso Foundation, which funded the Dharma Initiative.
69. Jennifer Jason Leigh was offered the role of Libby, which eventually went to Cynthia Watros.
70. Michael Emerson and Mira Furlan (who played Danielle Rousseau, the mother of Ben’s daughter) share the same birthday (Sept. 7), but Emerson is a year older.
71. Walt was 10 years old when the series started, but after two seasons, the actor who played him, Malcolm David Kelley, had grown tremendously. Hence, Walt being kidnapped at the end of Season 1. He was only able to return during flashforward scenes later on, since he’d aged appropriately by then.
72. In fact, Kelley had grown 10 inches from the Lost pilot to the series finale.
73. “The Constant” (Season 4, Episode 5) is Cuse and Lindelof’s favorite episode.
74. They did write a scene that explained who the people were during the outrigger chase in Season 5, Episode 4 (“The Little Prince”). But ultimately, Lindelof said, they decided: “This is cool, but it would be much cooler if we never answered it.”
75. A Hawaiian priest was brought in to bless the set and crew before shooting for the sixth and final season began.
76. Also before Season 6 started, Kayak was listing Oceanic Airlines flights from Sydney to L.A. for $4,815.16.
77. During the filming of Season 6, Cuse and Lindelof didn’t even tell the actors about the flash sideways because they “felt it was the best way to get the performances [they] needed.”
78. Two extras were hired who looked like Sun and Jin while filming the series finale. They were dressed up in formal attire and asked to walk around outside the church where the final scene was filmed so photographers would think they were filming a version of Sun and Jin’s wedding.
79. Akinnuoye-Agbaje was reportedly offered a hefty amount of money to do one scene in the series finale, but he allegedly wanted five times the amount that was offered. So he turned it down.
80. After filming on the series wrapped, Lindelof took the cover of the hatch and made it into a coffee table.
81. And Cuse now has the countdown clock from the hatch.
82. Meanwhile, Garcia took two of Hurley’s paintings from the mental institution.
83. The boots Sawyer wore on the show were Josh Holloway’s own. He had owned them for 12 years before the show.
84. Garcia had a locked mailbox installed in his Hawaii home so he could have scripts sent to his house.
85. And Garcia cried when he read the final script.