Early 'Lost' ratings: Solid, not spectacular

lost-finaleImage Credit: Mario Perez/ABCUPDATE: We interrupt your morning-after Lost finale debate to bring you some early ratings data from last night’s polarizing climax.

According to Nielsen, the two-and-a-half hour finale averaged a decent 13.5 million viewers and a 5.6 in the 18-49 demo. That marked the show’s highest rated telecast in two years, but it’s far from a record-breaking performance. The Lost clip show that preceded the swan song drew 9.8 million viewers.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled morning-after Lost finale debate.

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  • Heather

    It wasn’t spectacular because everyone was having Lost parties. No one could bear to be alone when it ended. Die alone or prosper together!

    • Stephanie

      I think that may be a factor. I had a “watch party” and noticed my neighbor had several visitors, there were 4 cars at the front of their house. I overheard them talking about Lost right after the show ended while I was out on the front porch. Never knew they were Losties,lol.
      My city also had a huge party at a Studio Grill theater/restaurant.

      • AJH

        My parents were a Nielsen household for a year. You can sign in your guests — so the people at parties are included in the ratings. However, only up to 6 guests can be signed in, so not sure what happens for larger parties. Perhaps Daniel Faraday knows?

      • wakeforce

        @Dave- Sorry the Super Bowl theory makes perfect sense- People who don’t watch sports (myself included) watch the Super Bowl. MOST people who didn’t watch Lost didn’t watch the finale.

      • Tego Livi

        People keep mentioning watching parties, but as for me:
        1. I don’t know anyone who’s ever held a “watch party” for anything outside of the Super Bowl and the Oscars;
        2. Therefore, I don’t know anyone who held a “Lost” watch party; and anyway
        3. I don’t know anyone who watches “Lost” (that I’m aware of).

        Makes me wonder if watch parties are a regional thing.

      • andrew

        my friend had a watch party and I know a few other s who did as well!

    • jared

      It wasn’t a blockbuster because NO ONE cared except the diehard Lost geeks. Get over yourselves.

      • mcfly

        You guys are funny

      • moonwvr

        I for one could care less what the ratings were. I have throughly enjoyed watching Lost for the past 6 years. Those who began or do not understand the show, do not possess the intelligence to follow along! I am so tired of non-watchers commenting on this board. You have no clue!

      • murley

        i wouldn’t call us obsessional. but that is because that word is used to describe behaviors or conditions, not people. obsessed? yes and proud.

      • Tego Livi

        The hype for this finale wasn’t any bigger than for the Sopranos, and the audience for Lost was around twice as big as that one.

      • dave

        jared was right. If people cared than more people would have watched. common sense.

      • jayemeff

        This has been said time and time again. People like Jared who obviously don’t care about Lost still go out of their way to find articles that allow them to comment on how much they don’t like Lost. Tell us again who the loser is Jared?

      • lee

        If you don’t care about Lost what are you doing on a site that is about Only Things pertaining to Lost? Get a life somewhere else.

    • ben

      also CBS own the Nielsens Rating System (the biggest conspiracy of all time)

      • lee

        too bad one small neilsen family can dictate what the rest of us get to watch. Many times good shows get dumped because of the “ratings” when it isn’t really an accurate measurement of who watches what. I used to have a Nielsen rating box on my TV and if the TV was on and I went out without turning off the TV it showed I was watching things I didn’t even know was on. Nielsen Ratings–Phooey

      • e

        cbs does not own nielsen.

    • Vikki Sixx

      It wasn’t spectacular because it’s ratings haven’t been spectacular for the last 3 seasons. It stopped being that “had to see it” tv show a couple of years back…

      • murley

        speak for yourself.

      • Vikki Sixx

        I’m speaking for the ratings. The ratings dropped. That’s a fact. Just because you loved it doesn’t mean the rest of the world still did. I watched it from day one up until the end but even I know it stopped being the “must see tv show” for everyone else.

    • TONY

      I think that’s why MSNBC’s ratings are so low…. everyone is having Rachel Maddow parties.

      • daisy

        LOL

      • daisy

        LOL Good one

  • Sarah

    Can you just say how many million people watched? and I agree with Heather, people were having parties and some movie theaters were showing it.

  • Sarah

    Can you just say how many million people watched? and I agree with Heather, people were having parties and some movie theaters were showing it.

    • Jason

      All I can say is, those who took the LOST journey have had their lives changed forever. Those who chose to jump off the wagon for reality dreck are all the dumber for it…and they truly don’t deserve the epic greatness of this series.

      • The Evil Marshal Dunn

        The asolute saddness of that comment has nothing to do with LOST at all. It has to do with such total fullfillment coming from a TV show (that was on 3 months, off 9) and not life or personal experiences. THAT is tragic snce we are expected to beleive that onthing this perso nahs ever read, or witnessed has been as influential as…..this sow.

      • Joan

        The Evil Marshal Dunn: Your English is amazing – Where did you learn how to spell?

      • BlackIrish4094

        I have loved several TV shows with deep fervor but to say you had your life changed forever, I believe you need to expand your horizons a little, sounds like you need to get out more.

      • Jon

        Viewers of LOST have had their LIVES CHANGED FOREVER?!? For the love of all that is good and Holy, GET OVER IT. Anyone who can be profoundly changed by a TV show has got to be among the most shallow and pathetic sort of person out there. The only image that comes to mind, although it feeds into the “reality dreck” comment, is from American Idol, and the teen girl who was crying in the audience while Sanjaya was singing. I get the feeling THAT is how the LOST finale may have affected some die-hards, and for that, I weep.

      • murley

        except that this show challenged viewers to explore philosophy, literature, religion and spiritualism, notions of faith and reincarnation etc. it prompted discussions on these subjects. anytime i expand my mind or challenge my assumptions and perceptions my life is changed in some way. try not to be so bitter and hateful towards people. i am sure it makes you feel superior to judge people in this way but that feeling is more shallow than what you accuse these fans of being.

      • JJ

        Why, Jon? Why is this any worse than, say, having your life changed by a really good novel? LOST was certainly a greater time commitment, and packed the emotional charge of a series of books rather than a single one. The fact that you would compare it to people crying over American Idol shows just how silly you are being. I’m not saying that *all* scripted dramas are life-changing, but Lost is at least worthy of discussion as such.

        This really was a once-in-a-lifetime show, and it forever changed how I look at television and what it can do.

    • Dee

      They do the same for lots of shows and for sports and it doesn’t affect the ratings like that. So that doesn’t seem likely that there were moer people watching.

  • Jose

    Wow,didn’t the previous episode get watched by 11 million viewers?

    • Psac

      The rating doesn’t equal viewers exactly. It’s based on a percentage of viewers who have TVs who are actually watching or something like that. The estimated actual viewers is about 13-14 million accoring to TV By the Numbers (good site). Decent, but not overwhelming. Only a couple of million over The Apprentice.

      • RyRyNYC

        ouch…

    • harley quinn

      The finale was watched by over 13 mill. How is that an ouch?

  • Jose

    Wow,didn’t the previous episode get watched by 11 million viewers?

  • Beepela

    Well, I watched it. :)

  • Beepela

    Well, I watched it. :)

  • patty1955

    Maybe the ratings are low because it was on so late and people recorded it? I stayed up late to watch it, but my husband will be watching the recording today.

  • patty1955

    Maybe the ratings are low because it was on so late and people recorded it? I stayed up late to watch it, but my husband will be watching the recording today.

  • Johnny

    Wait until the DVR downloads are calculated.
    And see how many of the DVD’s are sold when Season 6 comes out in August.

  • Kelly

    Dude, tons of people did the same thing when ‘Friend’s and ‘Sienfeld’ ended. Lots of people watched with friends at their homes, at bars, public showing, and the ratings then were still huge. DVR won’t add a huge factor, and can DVD’s really count? We don’t know how many people buying the DVDs have already seen the last episode or not. However, since the producers promised many unanswered questions and mysteries would be addressed in the DVD, I’m guessing it will be a huge seller.

  • stevio

    NEILSON RATINGS dont work!!! DO you have a NEILSON BOX in your house???? IF NOT, then whether you watched it or not at home YOU DON’T count!!! I cannot believe such a BARBARIC ratings system still exists.

    • AJH

      Nielson ratings MAY not capture everyone (see my post in response to Stephanie above), but it certainly isn’t a barbaric system. Ever heard of statistical sampling? People with boxes represent various demographics, so you ARE counted even if you don’t have one. I am not arguing that it’s perfect, but if it’s that terrible why do the TV industry and advertisers still utilize it?

  • stevio

    NEILSON RATINGS dont work!!! DO you have a NEILSON BOX in your house???? IF NOT, then whether you watched it or not at home YOU DON’T count!!! I cannot believe such a BARBARIC ratings system still exists.

    • AJH

      Nielson ratings MAY not capture everyone (see my post in response to Stephanie above), but it certainly isn’t a barbaric system. Ever heard of statistical sampling? People with boxes represent various demographics, so you ARE counted even if you don’t have one. I am not arguing that it’s perfect, but if it’s that terrible why do the TV industry and advertisers still utilize it?

      • OpinionatedGift

        I maintain that the Neilson system is indeed barbaric. The sampling isn’t at all reliable.
        I had a brief dealing with Neilson myself and I can tell you right off the bat that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing over there.
        That said, as a die hard fan of Lost, it’s unrealistic to ignore the fact that the show over time lost viewers. It’s a show that required a long investment which a lot of people don’t want to do. Lost was a show that required you to think, throughout it’s run. Yes there were stumbles. THe show wasn’t perfect, and it was demanding. That’s a lot of why those of use who love it do.

        But bottom line, when we learn a new and accurate system as opposed to Neilson’s distinctly unreliable one, we will never really get a decent sense of what people actually watch.

    • ryan

      Yeah they need to get a better way…hospitals, and anywhere else that has tv’s as well. Is it on hulu? so on and so forth. These days they definetely need a better system. And no (for someone elses comment) seinfeld and friends time was different so you cannot really compare too much. and they were more popular anyways.

    • Stepper

      Barbaric? Does it pull out your fingernails? Torture your loved ones? I think you mean primitive.

    • SirLizard

      You should look the word “barbaric” up in a dictionary, because I’m pretty sure you don’t know what it means. You probably meant archaic. Also, it is Nielsen, not Neilson.

    • elizabeth

      Neilsen is trying to improve its systems, but the nets and cable are also starting to factor in things like satellite feeds and cable feeds, because they can be tracked in aggregate. So Neilsen is not the whole ball of wax. And that of course does not count internet or international. It may not be part of the the “official” ratings systems now, but they are paying attention. Or else LOST would not have made it past S3.

      • elizabeth

        Lookee there, someone gave us the correct spelling and I still muffed it. Sorry!

  • Brad

    Sorry fanboys and fangirls, nobody outside of the limited core audience really cares about this show. It’s not going to be remembered as a huge show years from now. It’ll be on a Twin Peaks level most likely.

    And most of you rubes didn’t get the meaning of the finale, which is even more hilarious. Hayseeds.

    • murley

      wow brad you sure showed all us fans.

  • Brad

    Sorry fanboys and fangirls, nobody outside of the limited core audience really cares about this show. It’s not going to be remembered as a huge show years from now. It’ll be on a Twin Peaks level most likely.

    And most of you rubes didn’t get the meaning of the finale, which is even more hilarious. Hayseeds.

    • AJH

      Um, isn’t it that way for EVERY show? They have their core audience and beyond that people don’t care…

      Glee is hugely popular right now but I don’t care about it. Dancing With The Stars is hugely popular, but I don’t care about it. That deosn’t mean the people who do like those shows are delusional or that they wasted their time watching.

      And if you think it’s somehow insulting to suggest Lost will be remembered like Twin Peaks, then I hate to break it to you, but that’s a great compliment. Twin Peaks is an ICONIC show (warts and all) and I think you are probably right, Lost will be remembered in much the same way.

      • ryan

        What do you watch then? Steven seagals law man…..pawn stars….gossip girl? Is it on principle that you dont have any guilty pleasures? I never watched the show , but I like alot of people knew that there was a huge mystery from the beginning so why not tune in for the final to get all the answers we were too lazy to tune into each week and try to figure out ourselves.

      • harley quinn

        Seriously LOL at any Twin Peaks comparison being an insult. A mortality tale like Lost, heavy on the complex mythology and loaded with a bunch of philosophical discourse brought to us through fictional exposition, is really by nature a niche show, something meant to have a cult following. The fact that it crossed over to become a mainstream hit is remarkable and it’s impact on pop culture is indelible. Fact.

    • Jack

      Gosh brad…that hurts. I hope you enjoy your Adam Sandler movies and CSI: Detroit.

    • Yes

      Lost will be remembered years from now for being different. The make up of the cast and the storytelling devices are already iconic. Look at how many shows have already started jumping into the future.

      • Slim Pickens

        Dude, if you read sci fi at all, you’d have been on that train 30 years ago. time travel ain’t new…oh, well, it IS new. To LOST fans. That defines the demographics that dlights in saying, “”You just don’t get it”. What’s happneing is “you’re just NOW getting it” slow-poke. And when oyu see this “show desing” pop up in another 10-15 years, susing the same old themes, you’re gonna be as disappointed as everybody who read this crap 25 years were about LOST. Then some ignoramous is going to tell you, “It’s didn’t suck, you just don’t get it”

      • Dee

        Different from what? It just utilized the same storytelling techniques that have been used on television shows for many years. Lost also fell into cliches often. The only real difference is that it happened in a jungle.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Lost didn’t create the plot / script devices they used. Been used for years. To me it was poorly written but I know people have this unabashed love for it so enjoy anyway.

      • Doc Linus

        Slim Pickens, Dee, and BlackIrish clearly don’t understand the differences between Lost and common sci-fi.

        Sure, sci-fi has time travel. But sci-fi’s time travel is always explained and has a scientific, rather than a spiritual, explanation. Sure, flashbacks may have been a staple of other TV shows and narratives, but no show used them in the same way that Lost did – as the main source of character development.

        Lost was a very well-written show with characters that you can’t and won’t find on TV likely ever again.

    • wakeforce

      Tv executives obviously care about this show. There’s still trying to find the next Lost. Ever heard of Fringe or FlashForward? Next year’s The Event will try it again. DVD sales and internet buzz are almost as valuable to Hollywood as ratings.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Like Fringe wasn’t ripping off the X-Files which ripped off Twilight Zone, etc, etc.

    • murley

      wow brad you sure showed all us fans.

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