By LYNN ELBER
AP Television Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Lost" will return next month after an absence of eight months, but fans of the TV drama may still feel deprived because of the Hollywood writers strike.
The series, like other dramas and comedies, faces the possibility of a season cut short by the strike, now in its sixth week. Eight episodes of "Lost" have been completed for the series' return Jan. 31 _ half the number originally planned, ABC said Friday.
Whether the entire 16-episode order for 2008 can be filled depends on the duration of the contract dispute between studios and the Writers Guild of America. The strike has sidelined production on dozens of scripted shows, and networks are running out of new episodes.
Prospects for a deal were hurt when talks collapsed Dec. 7. No new negotiations were scheduled.
"Lost" viewers can expect at least a mini-cliffhanger ending, no matter how long the season, the network said.