By Matt Roush October 26, 2009 12:07 AM EST
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Question: I have been thoroughly enjoying 3/4 of ABC's Wednesday night comedy block (which, so far, is funnier and more accessible than the 3/4s of NBC's Thursday night comedy block I watch). My question is this: Where is Lost going to go? For the majority of its run, Lost has been on Wednesdays at 9/8c (except for its freshman year when it aired at 8/7c—which still shocks me—and the year of the writers' strike when it aired on Thursdays). I can't imagine ABC pulling its newly established (and relatively successful) comedy in favor of Lost, so in all likelihood, the final season of Lost will be airing in a time slot it has never aired previously. Where do you think it will go?—Erin
Matt Roush: Clearly, scheduling the final season of Lost will be no laughing matter. But I agree that it’s not in ABC’s best interests to jettison its new Wednesday comedy block just as it’s building up some steam, critically and some weeks in the ratings. (It’s a tough night, and ABC will need to be patient to see long-term growth; getting rid of Hank would be a good first step.) ABC has not yet announced just how it will schedule Lost in its final season, but wherever it airs, its fans will find it and follow it to the end. This final season isn’t going to be about ratings necessarily; Lost isn’t likely to grow in its final season, although many who’ve fallen away may tune in toward the end just to see how it wraps up. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if ABC puts it in one of the open 10/9c slots where shows currently are performing poorly: Tuesdays or, more likely, Wednesdays. This gets it out of the way of the American Idol juggernaut, and while I’d prefer it to air in a 9/8c time period as it has done the last few seasons, I don’t see an opening there, especially on Wednesdays, where the acclaimed Modern Family serves as the anchor for the comedy block. In the big picture, it’s more important for ABC to continue nurturing its terrific new comedies for the long haul than to worry too much about protecting Lost in its final stretch. Wherever it airs, we’ll be there.