LOST Ratings Revisited - Win or Lose?
Friday, February 09, 2007
Initially, Wednesday numbers showed that LOST's uber-hyped return was handily smacked about by CBS contender CSI: NY. Under normal circumstances, with any other show, that would not have been such a surprise. The return of LOST, however, had been predicted to bring millions of LOST fans who had gone astray back to the tube. Naturally, a short fused media with hunger for headlines was quick to trumpet LOST's ratings failure. A press release from ABC paints a very different picture of the match up. One in which LOST emerges a victor. Is this just network spin, or does LOST deserve a re-inspection from the press?
According to AbcMedianet.com, LOST's return was nothing but stellar. Landing the second highest ratings for any television show in history for the Wednesday night 10:00pm timeslot. Overall, it was ABC's strongest wednesday in three months, which was roughly about the same amount of time LOST was off the air.
The lead in to LOST, 'Lost Survivor Guide', was actually second in the 9:00pm slot edging out old LOST rival Criminal Minds.
The question through all of this is, is this a case of the networks skewing the numbers to meet their own publicity needs? In the real world LOST was a couple of million viewers behind rival CSI: NY. ABC would have us believe those two million viewers don't matter because they fall outside of the age group that advertisers want to sell to. To those of us who do not buy advertising, it is the bottom line that matters.
In the sense of business, the only thing that matters to ABC is the numbers that impact their bottom line which is composed of advertising dollars. Popularity within a particular bracket becomes not only important, it actually supersedes the raw popularity of a show.
LOST fans, on the other hand, really shouldn't worry whether or not their show is dominating its time slot as long as ABC has something, ANYTHING good to say about it. When they stop talking, that's when fans should worry.