'Lost' ratings hit new low
LOS ANGELES » "Lost" crashed in the ratings this week, hitting an all-time low for a new episode.
ABC's drama about plane crash survivors stranded on a deserted island drew an estimated 12.8 million viewers Wednesday, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Media Research. That's well off the peak of more than 20 million for the drama that became an instant sensation when it debuted in September 2004.
ABC has worked hard to try to protect the show, filmed in Hawaii, which helped turn the network's fortunes around. The move to 9 p.m. was meant to steer clear of Fox's blockbuster "American Idol" and CBS's increasingly strong "Criminal Minds."
After "Lost" fans complained about reruns interrupting the show's serial flow last season, the network tried an experiment: It split the current season in two, airing six episodes before an extended break and then resuming with 16 additional episodes.
The show's Feb. 7 return was heavily promoted and drew nearly 14.5 million viewers. But the bounce didn't last, with the show slumping this week.
In the show's defense, ABC noted that it beat the competition among the advertiser-favored young adult crowd, drawing 7.3 million viewers ages 18 to 49 compared to the 5.8 million that tuned in to CBS' "CSI: New York." "Lost" also drew nearly 4 million more viewers in the time slot compared to last year, when short-lived drama "Invasion" aired, the network said.
Wednesday's episode of "Lost" focused on the backstory of Desmond (Henry Ian Cusic). The episode drew the lowest ratings ever for the series.