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ABC Finds "Lost" Later at Night; Builds Super Thursday Lineup

ABC announced the return dates for several current series that have gone off the airwaves during the protracted writers strike and while it's good to see scripted series--including Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, Samantha Who?, and Brothers & Sisters--return to the networks, I am a little apprehensive about one small thing.

ABC is moving Lost to 10 pm again.

It's rare that such a breakout hit should have so many timeslot changes over the past few seasons but I have to say that I was thrilled when Season Four of Lost launched in the 9 pm hour. It wasn't so early (8 pm) that those of us who don't work 9 to 5 hours would miss the start of, but not so late that those of us who have to get up super early the next day couldn't stay awake for (10 pm). No, 9 pm seemed the perfect compromise, the ideal hour for such a thought-provoking, complex, and challenging series.

I can understand why ABC would shift Lost behind the return of ratings powerhouse Grey's Anatomy. Doing so forms a juggernaut of a three-hour block of first-run programming that includes Ugly Betty at 8 pm, Grey's at 9 pm, and Lost at 10 pm, a lineup which will launch on April 24th and run for five weeks straight to the end of May sweeps.

But will the audience of Grey's soapy romantic entanglements really gel with Lost's more obsessive fan base? Does ABC expect Lost do experience an uptick in ratings post-Grey's or will it find less viewers in the more challenging 10 pm timeslot?

That's, ultimately, what concerns me. Not that the fate of the series is in jeopardy (ABC has already renewed the series for the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 season), but that it will dent the momentum Lost has in its fourth season as it moves to yet another timeslot.

Still, one thing is for certain: I'll be watching Lost, no matter where ABC slots this series.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Survivor: Micronesia--Fans Vs. Favorites (CBS); My Name is Earl (NBC); Smallville (CW); Lost (ABC); American Idol (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Celebrity Apprentice (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Lost (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); Lipstick Jungle (NBC); Eli Stone (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Lost.

Missed last week's episode of Lost ("The Economist")? Here's your chance to catch it again before this season's fourth episode at 9 pm!

8 pm: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America.

Season Four of the original UK Kitchen Nightmares begins tonight. On this week's installment ("The Curry Lounge"), Gordon Ramsay heads to Nottingham, where he attempts to save a once-busy Bollywood-themed Indian restaurant from closing. Will he succeed? Find out tonight. (A hint to those with some major DVR conflicts: the episode also airs at 5 pm and 10 pm PT AND at 11 pm ET.)

9 pm: Lost.

On tonight's episode ("Eggtown"), Kate attempts to pry information out of hostage Miles, a move which could jeopardize her standing with Locke and Sawyer. Plus, a flash-forward featuring Freckles herself, Kate, reveals her newfound celebrity status.


Anonymous said…
when does this start? You probably said, but I read too fast.

What does this mean for Eli Stone, or will its initial run be over?
Anonymous said…
Does this mean the season will still reach the same conclusion as if there were 16 episodes?

Or will there be more eps next season?
Argh. 10pm again? I was so happy with the 9pm. I wish they'd stop messing around with the time slot. It's starting to feel like a Dharma experiment.
Unknown said…
"What does this mean for Eli Stone, or will its initial run be over?"


ELI STONE has enough weeks left to air 12 of the 13 episodes. Not sure what that means ABC is going to do with it though. I guess they could work in one episode in some other time slot between now and April 24.
The CineManiac said…
I'm okay with it as it means some people who tuned out last season that watch Grey's may tune back in. IMO it's always nice to have a ratings powerhouse as your lead in, although I guess it means more for a show that's not already renewed until it's end date.
gmr2048 said…
You know what the 10pm time slot means to me (and to the advertisers who want my $$)? It means that I'm gonna start watching Lost on Fridays on my DVR and skipping past the commercials. The wife is an early-to-bed kinda gal. When the show is on at 9pm, we tend to watch it live, commercials and all. When it starts at 10pm, we tend to watch it the following day. God bless the FFWD button!

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