More than 12 million people tuned into the two-hour season finale of Lost last night, which helped propel ABC to win Thursday night in adults 18-49 and total viewers despite the absence of an original Grey’s Anatomy. The out-of-season finale, not surprisingly, dominated its 9-11 p.m. timeslot and topped the No. 2 show, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, by 36 percent in the 18-49 demographic. It also marks the 13th consecutive week that an original Lost episode has won its timeslot in the key demo. (An interesting side note: Lost gained 1 million viewers, from 11.7 million to 12.7 million, from start to finish last night.) More positive news about the finale viewership could come shortly when the network gets data on DVR playback. This season, Lost has seen its overall audience grow by 1.9 million viewers and jump 18 percent in adults-18-49 from its initial broadcast numbers through seven days of recorded DVR playback.
Now, the sobering news: last night’s finale is a far cry from season 1, when the May 25, 2005 season-ender attracted 20.7 million viewers and earned a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. By season 2, the finale lured just 17.8 million viewers and earned a 7.6 rating. The season 3 finale dropped to 13.9 million and a 5.9 rating in 18-49. At least Lost appears to be holding steady with its current audience: Thursday’s finale attracted a 4.9 rating among 18-49, which is what the show had been averaging in previous weeks.