Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Has ABC 'Lost' Its Viewers?

Tonight marks the long, long-awaited return of "Lost" (ABC, 9-11 p.m.) after a three-month hiatus. The question remains, though, whether or not ABC has permanently harmed what was once its go-to franchise.

ABC aired the first six episodes of 'Lost' at the start of fall. Just when the momentum was picking up in a major way - killing off the popular Mr. Eko and giving viewers insight into the mysterious Others - ABC yanked the show in favor of rather awful "Daybreak," which was supposed to run in the 13-week interval the network created between "Lost's" fall and winter seasons.

But the latter show died after six weeks and ABC was left with a lot of egg on its face and a gigantic gap in the schedule. Worse, it has risked some of the most loyal viewership on the air by not only creating the gap in the season but pushing "Lost's" timeslot back an hour to 10 p.m. so that it doesn't compete head-to-head with Fox's American Idol at 9 p.m.

ABC continues to compound its mistakes with the show by not re-airing the previous episodes from this season, making the viewers strain their memories to remember where we left off. Instead, ABC is running a clip show tonight at 9 p.m. that encapsulates the first three seasons.

When we finally do get the new "Lost" episode, it picks up immediately where the last episode left off, with Jack holding Henry Gale's life in his hands as Sawyer and Kate try to escape. We also get Juliet's backstory tonight.

The ratings for tonight's show will be critical in seeing how many viewers ABC has cost the show with its antics and poor planning. Hopefully, not too much, since "Lost" remains one of TV's most imaginative hours.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Fox has given us a lot of Laurie and is now giving us a bit of Fry. Comic/actor Stephen Fry, who had a lot of success with "House" star Hugh Laurie in England as a comic team ("A Bit of Fry & Laurie," "Jeeves & Wooster"), appears as Booth's shrink on tonight's episode of "Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) It's Fry's second big guest spot of the week, having appeared as himself on "Extras" this past Sunday.

Racism threatens to divide the Dillon Panthers during their playoff run on "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 8 p.m.), the best show on TV that nobody is watching. I urge people once again to jump on the bandwagon.


Edge said...

How can people NOT be watching Friday Night Lights! It's like watching a mini movie every week. I LOVE THIS SHOW. As for Lost, I am very excited about tonights return. The time off was very painful, and hope the loyal veiwers with stick with it.

PS, I finial got my 'identity' to work, but had to go and reregister. So for others out there that have had problems logging in, just reregister your seems to work now.

Phillip Ramati said...

Thanks for the note, Edge. Glad you got the ID thing worked out. It makes it a lot easier for me to address individual comments when there's a name attached rather than anonymous.

I can't understand people who don't watch "FNL" either. It's one of those shows that hooks you once you do start watching it.

Zodin2008 said...

Why is "American Idol" the top rated show on Television and the utterly brilliant "Veronica Mars" happy to get 2 million? There are no simple answers.

I sat and emailed with a national critic that I like to read each week in a major paper about one of the biggest enigmas in Television--why the mediocre, boring CBS brand of procedurals are all so damned popular? How could a show as creative and imaginative as "Lost" be losing ground this past Fall to a dull, gory mess littered with wooden actors like the guy from "Dharma & Greg" in "Criminal Minds"?

Honestly, it shows that many of us are clearly out of touch with most of America or at least the 1,500 people that control destiny with those Nielsen boxes and are singlehandedly responsible for CBS being the #1 network (even though it has the biggest collection of boring and bad shows) and also responsible for the rise of reality Television.

It's funny how the critics are slamming Aaron Sorkin left & right for his blatant potshots within "Studio 60" aimed at Reality TV---I say AMEN Aaron. Everytime "Studio" takes a shot at the tasteless, infesting world of Reality, I cheer with great zeal.

This brings me to the point you are both making...why is America not watching "Friday Night Lights". Great characters, great acting and writing, a real slice of Americana and c'mon, the guys out there should be watching even just for the Football/macho aspects and for Lilah alone...she's stunning.

"Lights" is fantastic and its head to head with another show way too many people ignore..."Bones". As I just stated in a letter to my critic friend, what MAKES "Bones" so fantastic is the characters and the interpersonal relationships between the characters...I not only care about the stars, booth and Bones, but I care equally about the supporting cast, Angela, Zack and Hodgins.

In the opposite extreme, the mediocre, bland "Criminal Minds" is all about the gore and they have a bunch of wooden actors walking around like depressed zombies. Sorry, but give me the 'Moonglighting'-esque chemistry and charm of David Boreanez and Emily Deschanel (off one another) over sullen Mandy Pantinkin and his band of generic counterparts, any day.

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