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December 06 2006

Changes for ABC's shows featuring Jossverse cast and crew. According to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello: Jeffrey Bell and Adam Baldwin's "Day Break" might be canceled. Drew Goddard and Daniel Dae Kim's "Lost" will get a new time slot. And on related news David Arquette's "In Case of Emergency" debuts in January.

Just like a few other shows this season. "Day Break" might be taken off the air really soon, and the network will burn off the remaining episodes online.

Lost will reamain at Wednesday nights, but out of "American Idol" shooting range, with a later timeslot at 10pm.

David Arquette's "In Case of Emergency" will be "Lost" new lead in, as it will face off agains the AI juggernaut as part of the new ABC comedy block.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2006-12-06 08:34 ]

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2006-12-06 08:35 ]

I love Day Break. It is really growing on me. Geez, can we give a show more than 3 episodes to prove itself. And I get to see Adam every week. Leave it alone.
Day Break is actually looking at a new timeslot & day for the back 4. The remaining episodes are still planned for the existing timeslot until January.
This story has been reported over at as well. It still amazes me how quickly people, both viewers and those in the media, are ready to jump on a success like Lost the moment it starts to go down in the ratings. Saying that "the show is already having a rocky time this season" isn't exactly giving a realistic slant on the fact that it is still doing incredibly well in the ratings.

The fact is that Lost became a victim to it's initial success and during the first season it attracted a great number of people who just wanted to be in on the Lost bandwagon. Then as the story went on and didn't hold everyone attention (which is to be expected as everyone has different tastes in what they enjoy in a show) the figures went down as those who weren't really into the show jumped ship.

Still, Lost remains an amazingly good series and a very popular one, more importantly. I'm certain that 90% of the network television shows on at the moment would love to be having as "rocky" a time as Lost is having. ;)
I agree, Arcane. That new time slot really blows.
isn't exactly giving a realistic slant on the fact that it is still doing incredibly well in the ratings.

It's not. The ratings are down, and Lost's costs are very significantly up from when it first started (and it was an extremely expensive show when it first aired - holding the most expensive pilot ever produced record).

I'm not trying to be down on Lost. I actually thought the mini series at the beginning of season 3 was quite good in places - in particular, Jack had a fantastic little arc and actual character development. Creatively, they are doing better this season. However, from a business point of view, Lost is in trouble - it's likely THE most expensive show on the air, and the ratings are going down. The season 3 premiere lost 25% of the views from the season 2 finale, for example, which is a drop off the show can't afford. These problems are repeated internationally - for example, it lost 60% of it's audience on Channel 4 in the UK, moved to Sky One, and premiered at a low number. The net needs to make changes to the timeslot and the show for it to survive longer term.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-12-06 17:11 ]
"The season 3 premiere lost 25% of the views from the season 2 finale, for example, which is a drop off the show can't afford."

Actually I think you may be mistaken there, gossi. From my understanding the Lost season three premiere was 25% down on the Lost season two premiere, not the finale. Obviously the show had lost a significant amount of viewers over the second season run (for reasons I have already mentioned) but I was led to believe that it held the viewing figures from the end of the last season quite well.

The main reason that Channel 4's numbers were down is that they took so damn long to show Lost in the first place. I know many UK Lost fans that gave up waiting and just downloaded the episodes because they were tired of having to avoid being spoiled for months on end. The loss of viewers from moving the show from Channel 4/E4 to Sky One was expected and I believe that Sky One were actually very happy with the numbers they got for the show.

It can't be ignored that Lost has been losing viewers over the last year but I honestly do not think that the situation is as terrible as the media like to make out. The show is only destined to run for five seasons at most, according to the writers, and I cannot imagine that ABC would cancel it before that, based upon the numbers it gets at the moment. I know networks can be triggerhappy with cancelling shows, especially expensive shows such as this one, but I think things will need to get much worse for Lost before ABC are ready to pull the plug in this case.

[ edited by Arcane on 2006-12-06 17:40 ]
. These problems are repeated internationally - for example, it lost 60% of it's audience on Channel 4 in the UK, moved to Sky One, and premiered at a low number.

Two things. Firstly, Sky One paid a small fortune for the Lost episodes compared to what Channel 4 paid for them (so there's still money to be made). Secondly, Channel 4 and E4 are free view as opposed to Sky One which is a subscription based channel. So naturally the ratings for the premiere would be down compared to last season.
I think Lost's numbers would hold up better if there weren't the incredibly long waits between the "fall series" and the spring. Just as the program was building up momentum, after only a handful of episodes, it was gone again. They should do with Lost what Fox does with 24 -- run the entire series without breaks.

I don't think the time change is going to benefit the show very much, but it will get it out of the way of the Idol phenomenon. Nothing can compete with that. Other networks should just sign off while Idol is on, frankly --- although then there wouldn't be anything for me to watch, so maybe I'll retract that last statement.
Simon - the numbers were still down, even for Sky - some of Sky's original (and cheap!) programming gathered twice the ratings of Lost's season 3 premiere, which it had paid a record amount for. They might be saying they are very happy with the numbers, but networks nearly always say that. Nobody is going to admit to a $20m mistake on day 1.

Ultimately, yes, the numbers are not fatal. It will get at least up to the end of season 4 due to international commitments alone (from worldwide net sales). However, the audience is disappearing -- bits of season 2 hung around 20m+ viewers and it's nowhere near that now in the US, and the trend does repeat abroad -- so yeah, to say the show is already having a rocky time this season is pretty much true. It is. It's not going to get cancelled any time soon, but it needs to figure out why it's slowly loosing it's audience. Personally, I think the reasons are pretty obvious: the mystery. Everybody I speak to who watched it on a casual basis say they got bored waiting for something to happen.
I suppose we can go back and forth all day on what we each consider to be bad news for Lost, as far as ratings go. I'm confident that it will end with a complete story arc, which is all you can really hope for in this day and age. Whether that be at the end of the fourth or fifth season is something that we will just have to wait and see.

As for the viewers getting bored waiting for something to happen, I've watched every episode to date and, to varying degrees, I can honestly say that I've seen something happen in every single episode. Now and again that may only be some minor character development but then that kind of thing is part and parcel of why I watch the show. It's as much about the people as it is about the island. I guess that it comes down to whether or not the writers choose to pander to the casual viewing masses and dumb down the plot or stick to their guns and tell the story that they want to tell. Either way they will lose a good number of viewers, I would imagine.

Maybe they could make the show easier to follow. Maybe by making it less continuity heavy or by making the mysteries a little less... mysterious. But then it wouldn't be Lost anymore. So, stick by the addicted Lost fandom and lose the casual viewers or make the show easier to follow and alienate those that want the mystery-heavy show that Lost is famous for being? It's a no-win situation, at this point in the game.

Personally I hope that the writers would rather stick to their plan and tell the story as they see fit, at whatever pace they choose, even if it does mean that viewing figures drop and the show ends with four seasons. I'd rather have four seasons of a show I love than see it's quality decline so that it can retain the viewers who want paint-by-numbers type television.
Ah, you see, you're assuming that making the show more accessible to people means dumbing it down. I don't think it does, as when it first started, and even during the beginning of season 2, it was riding high - 23 million viewers for season 2's opener, for example. So it can reach a mass audience, and hold it.

As to if it reachs a complete story arc, I don't know. It really depends if you like JJ's style of programming. Alias was a bit like watching a horse on crack at times, although fun was had. It followed a similar viewing pattern, where viewers started to desert around season 3 time, though. That still lasted 5 seasons, although a large part of the core fandom disappeared as the plot got somewhat, er, tangled.
Well, Lost and Alias are different animals with different writers involved. The fact that JJ created both series doesn't really have to suggest that they both will follow the same patterns. That said, I do agree that Alias lost a cohesive direction somewhere in the middle of season two, probably with the end of the SD-6 arc. That was noticeable right from the start though and I don't see that with Lost. So far the plot of Lost makes perfect sense to me and everything connects very nicely.

As for the viewing figures of season one being what they were, I truly believe that the majority of those that watched the first season and then jumped off during season two never really got the show right from the start. It was just that the show was the latest must-watch series on the box and so many people watched just so that they could get involved in the conversation at work the next day. The second that the buzz started to die down then so did the interest of those that were not really getting it in the first place.

That being the case then I really do believe that Lost would need to be massively simplified in order to get most of those original viewers back on board. Call it "dumbing down" or "making it accessible", it still boils down to changing what the show is to suit the masses. An act that I do not believe possible for a series like Lost without ruining exactly what it is that makes the show so unique.

All I can tell you is that I have never had any problem following and enjoying the show. All I have had to do is watch it every week. Simple as that. It's been obvious for many years that the majority of television watchers like shows that don't require any real dedication. Shows that have little or no continuity and no regular viewing. That's why procedurals do so well. You can watch the episode this week, then miss the next two and still follow what is going on when you do watch again.

Lost was always something of an enigma in how successful it became and frankly I was never surprised that the ratings started to dip. It was absolutely inevitable that a large number of those that were watching at the start would not have the interest to stick with it. I'm not saying that this is true for every single ex-Lost fan but it's not unfair to say that a lot of people who watch television don't have the attention span to make it to the end of a music video on MTV. Sad but unfortunately very true.
Arcane, I have watched Lost from the begining and seen every episode and like many others, have had problems with it. I'm glad you don't, but please do not insult those of us who feel it lost its way.
As for Day Break, I've been watching it every week and mildly enjoying it. But if it were a book, I would have skipped to the end to see how it turned out, by now.
Lioness, I think I was fairly clear when I said that I wasn't suggesting that everyone who has stopped watching Lost or no longer enjoyed it as much was lacking in an attention span. In fact, in my original post in this thread I said that it was to be expected that Lost was not going to suit everyone's tastes, no matter what. If you are one of those that honestly believes that it is no longer as enjoyable then that is fair enough and my last comments were not applicable to you.

However, there is a difference between the likes of yourself who has watched the show and really has lost interest and those that never really cared about it in the first place. Those are the people that I believe have made the dip in viewers in the last year look so significant. Please do not take a comment on a certain type of television viewer as a general insult toward every single person who no longer watches Lost.
I pretty much agree with everything Arcane has been saying and I am shocked that Day Break has lasted this long.

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