Finale of ‘LOST’ has historic foot print in TV Ratings


The last episode, many just can’t believe that it’s over.  It’s such a bitter sweet moment.  Although, we finally know how it ends, it’s sad to know that it has ended but ended with the hottest ratings and viewers in TV.

The show starts with a mesh of both the island and the flashsideways.  We see each of our remaining characters as they are on the island and as they are in the flashsideways.  Then it starts.

Last Sunday Night (7:00-11:00 p.m.) With the series finale of “Lost,” ABC posted a definitive victory on the final Sunday night of the 2010 May Sweep and 2009-10 TV Season, leading its nearest competition by 2.3 million viewers (11.4 million vs. 9.1 million – CBS) and by 100% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/14 vs. 2.4/7 – NBC).   Winning the evening for 4th time in 5 weeks among Adults 18-49, ABC registered its 6th straight May Sweep as Sunday’s No. 1 TV network in the key young adult sales demo. 

Excluding the nights of its “Academy Awards” broadcasts, ABC marked its strongest Sunday in nearly 2-1/2 years among Adults 18-49 – since 12/2/07.

“Lost: The Final Journey” (7:00-9:00 p.m.)
From 7:00-9:00 p.m., “Lost: The Final Journey” (a retrospective covering the series’ 6 seasons) drew an average audience of 9.8 million viewers and a 4.0/13 in Adults 18-49 to win its time period on both counts. 

The “Lost” recap special generated ABC’s best non-“Oscar” Adult 18-49 number in the 2-hour time slot since November 2007 – since 11/25/07.

“Lost” (9:00-11:30 p.m.) Surging from its lead-in at 9:00 p.m., the 2-1/2 hour series finale of “Lost” pulled in an average audience of 13.5 million viewers and a 5.8/15 in Adults 18-49 to stand as the No. 1 TV show on Sunday night on both counts.  “Lost” soared to the top of its time period, beating out its nearest network competition (NBC’s season finale of “Celebrity Apprentice” from 9:00-11:00 p.m.) by 4.2 million viewers by 71% in Adults 18-49.  In addition, Lost registered as TV’s highest-rated drama finale this season in Adults 18-49.

In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Lost” generated its biggest finale in 3 years – since 5/23/07.  It was the series’ strongest telecast overall since February 2008 in viewers and young adults– since 2/21/08 and 2/14/08, respectively.

ABC estimates that 20.5 million unique viewers watched the series finale of “Lost” during its 2-1/2 hour broadcast – unduplicated viewers that watched 6-minutes or more of the program.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 36% currently, from 31% at the same point in 2009.  More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next-day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

(Source: ABC – Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 5/23/10)