Where 'Lost' Is Found: Thursdays
December 14, 2007 2:16 PM
Network scheduling decisions normally are routine affairs, but plenty of media suspense has built up for this announcement: ABC’s serialized hit “Lost” will return Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. That’s Thursday night in the slot currently held by “Grey’s Anatomy” (which has only one original episode left).
“Lost” has shut down production due to the writers strike and has eight completed episodes that conclude in a cliffhanger. Last season the show aired on Wednesdays at 10 p.m., where it suffered ratings drops after taking a 13-week winter hiatus. Shifting "Lost" to Thursday echoes ABC's headline-making move last year to put "Grey's Anatomy" in the 9 p.m. Thursday slot, a decision that paid off when the medical drama began regularly besting veteran procedural "CSI."
This time, the deck is stacked in ABC's favor to maintain dominance of the coveted time period. As previously pointed out, the highly valued Thursday 9 p.m. slot was looking surprisingly light of heavy-hitter competition, with “CSI” mostly in repeats against NBC’s ratings-uncertain “Celebrity Apprentice” and Fox’s modestly-performing “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.”
If the strike is resolved and original episodes of "Grey's" make to air before "Lost" has competed its brief run, ABC intends to move the action drama to 10 p.m.
But it is Wednesday nights that get the most extreme makeover in ABC’s winter strike schedule. ABC launched a trio of scripted original series this fall on Wednesdays (“Pushing Daisies,” “Private Practice” and “Dirty Sexy Money”), which are fading into repeats. Starting next month, the network plans to fill the three hours with reliable returning reality shows “Wife Swap” and “Supernanny,” along with new series “Cashmere Mafia.”
Key ABC premiere dates:
-- Power-businesswoman ensemble drama “Cashmere Mafia” will air Wednesday at 10 p.m. starting Jan. 9, going against mostly repeats of “CSI: New York” and originals of “Law & Order.” “Cashmere” will have a special premiere airing on Thursday, Jan. 3, after the final original “Grey’s Anatomy.”
-- Legal drama “Eli Stone” will premiere following “Lost” on Jan. 31, taking the Thursday 10 p.m. slot.
- “Oprah’s Big Give,” in which contestants compete to raise money and then give it away, will air Sunday nights at 9 p.m. starting March 2.
-- “Dancing With the Stars” spinoff “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” premieres with a two-hour episode at 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, before settling into a one-hour version thereafter.
Absent from the list: ABC hasn’t yet assigned spots to new comedy “Miss/Guided,” game show “Wanna Bet” and reality series “Here Comes the Newlyweds” and “Dance Machine.”
From the Dharma Initiative editing bay, below is the fourth-season trailer for “Lost.”