The episode of 'Lost' shown on December 1st was the series' first true two-parter. The pilot was supposed to be broadcast as a two-hour premiere, but the network suits in their infinite wisdom (insert your own level of sarcasm there) decided to split it and show it as a two-parter. They decided what the viewing audience really wanted was a two-hour premiere for 'The Bachelor'.
The ratings of course proved how stupid an idea that turned out to be. The drop-off of viewership after 'Lost' grew with each following hour.
Looking back over the schedule for the show so far, I'm impressed that the creators of 'Lost' have apparently taken the realities of network programming into consideration. It's just not their fault that they have to deal with lump-headed suits.
Consider this: last week, 'Lost' was pre-empted due to a combination of the Thanksgiving holiday and the two-hour finale of the latest (and hopefully last) episode of 'The Bachelor'. I'm sure the hoped-for swelling tide of audience interest became more like a swelling infection that needed to be lanced.
But if instead of skipping a week for 'Lost', (or for that matter, had the pilot been shown as a two-hour movie), last night we would have had the second episode of this "Claire-centric" story. "Raised By Another" was a gripping episode and should do well when the overnights are released and in the final national ratings also.
But think how much better their numbers could have been had we been watching the conclusion to this story on the final night of the November Sweeps!
As always, I blame the suits. And even though I've cited the Morley Safir quote several times in the last few days, it always bears repeating:
Network TV programmers should be nibbled to death by ducks.