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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - On the surface, this year's Emmy race for best drama would seem a "Lost" lock.
Not only did the show end its six-year run in a publicity blowout, but the TV Academy also relaxed its rules by allowing the final episode to be eligible for individual-episode awards (writing and directing), though the finale was about 30 minutes longer than its traditional two-hour time limit.
Such special consideration has insiders wondering: Is the academy leaning in "Lost's" direction ahead of the August 29 ceremony?
If Emmy's record with finales says anything, "Lost's" conclusion doesn't give it an automatic edge over competitors "True Blood," "Dexter," "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and "The Good Wife."
In fact, other than "The Sopranos'" series-ending win in 2007, no drama in its final season has won the series Emmy in the past decade, or even the one before. Which isn't to say that series enders haven't made it to the ballot.
"The West Wing's" nomination in its final season in 2006 seemed, at the time, to make it nearly unbeatable, especially considering it had already won the award four times. But that year, an especially strong season of "24" triumphed. Similarly, in 2005 "Six Feet Under" was laid to rest, but was unseated by a sci-fi upstart called -- you guessed it --"Lost."
In fact, before David Chase's controversial blackout on Tony Soprano, the last series to win the drama series prize in its final season was the British program "Upstairs, Downstairs," which snatched the 1977 statuette from fan favorites "Police Story" and "Baretta."
This bit of history might make "Lost"-ees even more anxious for a final series win -- unless they're too busy still debating the finale's philosophical meaning.