It’s no secret that LOST‘s move to 10pm est cost the show viewers, every muckraker with a zeal for bad news was all over LOST‘s sharp decline after the show returned to the new time slot.  Since that time, however, new research has shown that those mysterious disappearing viewers didn’t stop watching the show at all, they just changed when they watched it.  In the end it would appear most of LOST‘s audience is intact.

The slight of hand comes into play when you look at how Nielsen Media Research tallies DVR viewers.  Essentially, in their formula if you don’t watch the show by 3:00am the following day, you do not count as a viewer.  Since Thursday is arguably ‘Must See TV’ night, and there are plenty of high powered shows on Tuesday and Wednesday to fill up DVR hard drives across the country, LOST viewers who can’t – or won’t – stay up beyond the 10:00pm thresh hold are probably getting caught up on the weekend.

Indeed when LOST is re-examined in ‘live plus 7’ model, which counts you as a viewer by either watching live or at any point a week after, LOST reemerges with the ratings strength that made it a legend to begin with, picking up as many as four million additional viewers since the third season began and completely owning this demographic across the board.  LOST sees an average 24% growth in this category versus its closest competitor Heroes, which picks up a still substantial 18%.

Of course this data isn’t much good for anything other than thumbing your nose, if you’re ABC;  LOST has already driven the value of ABC’s Wednesday 10:00pm time slot through the roof by actually bringing a record increase in viewers which fit the desirable 18-49 year old demographic bracket.  The additional DVR viewers do restore some dignity to those who have defended the shows popularity, but remember:  DVR’s have fast forward buttons, and the TV biz is all about selling advertising.

– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
source: Variety
(image Copyright © 2007 abc)


Senior Writer, BuddyTV