<I>Lost</i> Lost

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Lost fans will find themselves watching the upcoming Season 5 without interruption, sources tell TVGuide.com.

Of course, going interruption-free has always been the plan for the series' final three seasons. Season 4, however, was compromised by last winter's WGA strike. And looking ahead to this season, ABC has yet to confirm any scheduling plans. One insider speculates that the network may decide to maximize their May sweeps payoff by "stretching out" Season 5 with a week off or two, rather than have the finale air mid-month.

But as original cast member Jorge Garcia (Hurley) shared with us in a Friday interview, "This season, I think, is going to run straight through. Last season, they skipped a week before the finale and had a clip show, so we might do that. But for the most part, it should run straight through."

In May 2007, Lost producers revealed their plan to wrap up the supernatural saga with three more seasons totaling 48 episodes, each of them airing without interruption, à la Fox's 24.

That idyllic scenario, however, was waylaid out of the gate when the winter 2007-08 WGA strike forced a five-week midseason break upon Season 4. Even with that, the episode total came up two hours shorter than hoped.

Similarly, a strike by the Screen Actors Guild (to be voted on in early January) could send up in smoke the dream of an intact Season 5.

To make up for last season's shortfall, the next two runs will each contain 17 episodes, with Season 5 kicking off Wednesday, Jan. 21. The three-hour return event will feature a one-hour catch-up special followed by the season's first two new episodes — "Because You Left" and "The Lie."

What else did Jorge Garcia have to share? Watch for the next scoopy bit from our conversation to surface in Tuesday's Mitovich Mega Minute. The complete Q&A will go up closer to Lost's premiere date.

Crave TV scoop? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at mega_scoop@tvguide.com.