ABC's 'Lost' picks up steam in ratings

ABC’s “Lost” is picking up some ratings steam as it nears the halfway point of its penultimate season, racking up its best demos since last April. Fox still prevailed on the night, led by “American Idol” and good-enough scores for rookie drama “Lie to Me.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Lost” averaged a 5.1 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 11.3 million viewers overall, winning the 9 o’clock hour in all key demos and rising about 15% from the previous week when it was held down by “American Idol.” The drama also logged its best deliveries in key male demos in about a year.

A “Lost” repeat also fared better than usual for ABC at 8 p.m. (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), and “Life on Mars” was up as well at 10 p.m. (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), though it figures to again place third in its timeslot.

At Fox, “American Idol” (8.9/24 in 18-49, 24.4 million viewers overall) easily beat the combined scores for the rather weak offerings on other broadcast networks, leading into “Lie to Me” (4.2/10 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), which ran second in 18-49 during the 9 o’clock hour.

CBS ranked second in the night’s opening hour with comedies “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and then placed third in young adults — but first in total viewers — with 9 o’clock drama “Criminal Minds” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 15.0 million viewers overall). Closing out the night, “CSI: NY” was a winner but on the low side (3.0/8 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall).

NBC did little from 8 to 10 p.m. with original episodes of “Knight Rider” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) and “Life” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) before getting more competitive at 10 o’clock with “Law & Order” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.5/7; ABC, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.9/8; Univision, 1.8/5; NBC, 1.7/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.8 million; CBS, 11.5 million; ABC, 7.5 million; NBC, 5.9 million; Univision, 4.6 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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