Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost Numbers

So, ABC's success in killing off what was once its most popular franchise seems to be nearly complete, as "Lost" drew just 12.8 million viewers last week in what was a pretty cool Desmond-centric episode.

The good news for network is that "Lost" (ABC, 10 p.m.) won its timeslot handily; the bad news is, with a show done the way it is with very detailed character and plot arcs, it's very difficult for viewers who drop the show for a week to join back in.

"Lost" isn't in danger of being canceled, but to watch ABC's treatment of the show this season - airing just six episodes in the fall before pulling it for the dreadful "Daybreak" - is frustrating to any fan of the series.

ABC executives may not care, however, thanks to a couple of other pieces of news that broke this week. The first, announced Wednesday, is that "Grey's Anatomy" will produce a spinoff centered around Kate Walsh's character, with the pilot likely airing in May. (Thanks to TV Guide for that news).

The second news is the network's answer to Fox's "American Idol," the even-more-grating "Dancing With The Stars" announced the new contestants, which include: Heather Mills, Laila Ali, Ian Ziering, Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Fatone, Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey, Leeza Gibbons, Paulina Porizkova, Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno, former NBA star Clyde Drexler and "Sopranos" actor Vincent Pastore.

Perhaps the ABC powers-that-be feel with these two new shows, "Lost" is no longer a priority. Let's hope they wake up from that delusion.

RIP SHERIFF DON LAMB: The sheriff of Neptune, Calif., a frequent nemesis of both Veronica Mars and her dad, Keith, was one of the most irritating characters on the dial - and I mean that in a good way. His snide comments and lax attitude made his character a lot of fun, and he'll be missed after meeting his unfortunate demise from a baseball bat wielded by Richard Grieco.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Jericho" (CBS, 8 p.m.), which got the "Lost" treatment of going three months between original episodes, finally returns to the air tonight, followed by new episodes of "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."

One of TV's best shows, "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 8 p.m.) is also original tonight. Matt and Julie consider losing their virginity; not that I'm advocating teen sex, but is there a couple on the air right now that you want to pull for more than Matt and Julie?


Zodin2008 said...

I agree about ABC's handling of "Lost" and the 10 PM time slot only makes things worse.

But, as long as it's not in danger of being canceled and we get a 4th and hopefully 5th season, then those who watch, watch, and those who don't, good riddance. Seriously...I read Matthew Fox's comments in the recent Entertainment Weekly and he feels they are doing compelling Television (and they are) and he says good riddance as well to fairweather 'Lost' fans.

What Fox and the Producers also felt was that a lot of the folks who've dropped away, dropped because they only watched it as a fascination and that the real, true fans and Sci Fi fans would watch and ignore those out there who have a problem with Lost's current direction.

As for the busy 8 PM Hour tonight, thankfully, I own two DVR's and can watch "Jericho", "Bones" and the best show America isn't watching, "Friday Night Lights". I agree...definitely rooting for Matt & Julie as a couple.

Phillip Ramati said...

Actually, Bones is off for the next three weeks because of American Idol, but Wednesdays overall have been strong this season.

I don't really care one way or the other if fans drop Lost or any other series except that when ratings fall too far too fast, it can endanger the series. A series like Lost could take a hit like this and survive; something like Friday Night Lights couldn't.

The fact that the producers have set up an endgame for Lost - a direction in which the show will have a definitive ending - probably helps the prospects of the showing ending on its own terms.

pjianek said...

About this Grey's Anatomy spinoff...Does this seem a bit premature to anybody else?

Phillip Ramati said...

The Grey's spinoff is still in the talks stages, but the answer to your question is both yes and no. Dramatically, it might be early, but ratings-wise, Grey's is the hottest show on TV, and ABC will want to milk it for all it's worth.

This Girl said...

I agree with zodin about the drop numbers for Lost. Lost, for whatever reason, attracted fans that the show did not aim for. The numbers we're seeing now are the true fan numbers, the ones who will stick it out until the end, being compelled by the ever increasing mystery with the hope of a big payoff when the end does come.

I still have FNL in my DVR. I never root for teen sex, but I did root for her taking him back. I hope they stay strong because he has a somewhat good head on his shoulders despite not knowing how to deal with popularity.

I, too, was sad to see Sheriff Lamb die. When he got hit, I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. When Keith got the call, I thought, "You can't be serious." But I guess this is their way of making the investigation hard for Keith because now he has to try and follow the law. However, as far as absolutely fantastic Veronica quotes or "things that added to my girl crush", this was a great show. I love Keith and Veronica's interaction. I sure hope we see more Wallace... but didn't it seem abrupt that Mac and that guy were sleeping together?

As far as days that have the most to watch, I always have to clear out as much of my DVR as possible to catch all of Thursday night. I think I end up with shows from three networks, all hours. Smallville, Supernatural, Ugly Betty, Grey's, Earl, Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Men In Trees... Thursdays are television hectic.

As for a Grey's spinoff, why Addison? I would have thought something with dead Denny would have been better (maybe because I would love to see Denny doing something.) His character was so charismatic and the show would work with frequent tie-ins to Grey's, like ghostly visits or something. I guess prenatal emergencies will keep people watching, and heaven knows her character needs to get away from Seattle Grace, but a spin-off... Well, if the righting and direction of Grey's is any example, then I think it may be something good.

Jonathan said...

The Sheriff Lamb death really annoyed the hell out of me. For one, this was the first season he was finally becoming a little more than a one note snide pest. We were actually getting to see the character show why, even through all of his annoying traits, was ever elected sheriff in the first place; the fact that he's actually not that bad at his job. And second, it was so backhanded the way they did it. I'm all for throwing suprises in and killing off characters to make it interesting, but this just seemed very second guessed. I wouldn't be suprised if it was a contractual issue; to keep the show going, Rob Thomas had to cut out some of the cast or something to that nature. Still a very strong season for our favorite female sleuth, but that aspect of this past episode just seemed pointless more than anything else.

Phillip Ramati said...

Jonathan, I agree with you that the show is better off with Lamb than without, and I could possibly see it to be a bit of a contrivance to get Keith back as Sheriff, but I think Thomas & Co. did a pretty good job with the death. It's supposed to be something of a shock when something like that happens. (Plus, we got the great "MASH" reference).