ABC's Lost scored a 5.6 rating in 18-49s, with 12.8 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen Research. That's down 2 million viewers from last week, when the show returned from a three-month hiatus.
Lost has endured a rocky road in its third season. The season-three premiere was down 20 percent from season two's premiere, and Media Life Magazine suggests today that "the most likely reason [for the ratings dip] is that fans are dissatisfied with the drama’s dragging plotlines. Message boards are full of complaints about producers’ failure to tie up almost any of the mysteries on the show, instead adding new ones as well as new characters."
On Fox, American Idol predictably won the night. The reality show cornered and bludgeoned a 12.1 rating and 28.5 million viewers overall. Idol lead-in Bones was also first in its time slot, with a 4.1 rating and 12.4 million viewers deciding they would just sit and watch it until Idol came on.
At 8 p.m., Fox earned a 4.1 for Bones, and NBC scored a 2.5 for Friday Night Lights. ABC earned a combined 2.2 for George Lopez and Knights of Prosperity. CBS took a 2.1 for a Return to Jericho recap show, and CW earned a 1.9 for Beauty and the Geek finale.
At 9 p.m., Fox scored a 12.1 for American Idol, and CBS landed a 4.0 for Criminal Minds. NBC earned a 2.6 for Deal or No Deal, and ABC scored a 2.1 for a repeat of Lost. CW took a 1.1 for One Tree Hill.
At 10 p.m., ABC and the new Lost episode scored a 5.6, CBS earned a 4.4 for CSI: NY, and NBC took a 3.0 for Medium.
Overall, Fox scored an 8.1 rating/21 share in 18- to 39-year-olds, with 20.4 million total average viewers; CBS, 3.5/9, 12.6 million; ABC, 3.3/8, 7.9 million; NBC, 2.7/7, 8.6 million; and CW, 1.5/4, 3.2 million.