ABC’s press department was glowing today over the overnight ratings data on LOST – The Man Behind the Curtain. The episode promised to give answers on an unparalleled level, telling us how Ben came to be in charge of the others, who the mysterious Jacob was that supposedly controlled him, what became of the Dharma Initiative, and much more. LOST fans reacted, of course, by tuning in. While failing to win its hour in total viewers, LOST still generated enough numbers in the right demos to give ABC something to toot their horn over.
On an official basis, the data plays out like this:
- Growing from its lead-in by 7.7 million viewers (12.1 million vs. 4.4 million) and by 163% in young adults (5.0/13 vs. 1.9/5), “Lost” won its Wednesday time period and was No. 1 scripted-program of the night across the adult demographics: Adults 18-34 (4.3/13), Adults 18-49 (5.0/13) and Adults 25-54 (5.6/14). In fact the ABC drama has won its hour in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic on all 14 telecasts since entering its new time slot.
- Despite its late time period and declining TV usage levels, “Lost” grew by 1.0 million viewers (11.6 million to 12.6 million) and by 11% among young adults (4.7/12 to 5.2/15) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.
- “Lost” improved the hour for ABC over the same night last year by 4.5 million viewers and 67% in Adults 18-49 (7.7 million & 3.0/8 on 5/10/06).
Analysts predict the largest chunk of LOST’s audience missing from the picture is the younger crowd. LOST was a favorite for family viewing when it kicked off in the kid friendly 8:00pm time slot, and has trimmed it’s younger audience gradually by shifting up an hour through subsequent seasons. Interestingly enough, the 18-49 portion of the show’s audience has not varied much, and in the business side of things that is all that matters.
That said, ABC has made unprecedented changes to the shows schedule, agreeing to a three sixteen episode season deal to end the story in 2010. This was done mostly to try to recapture the shrinking fan base frustrated by the slow release of information. The time slot issue was also addressed, particularly in the tone of bring LOST back as a family adventure show vs the edgier late night rendition. In all likely hood, LOST will announce a new time slot when ABC does their up fronts next week.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Copyright ABC)