The ratings for Sunday’s 2.5-hour “Lost” finale came in yesterday, and they were impressive: 13.5 million viewers and a 5.8 share of the 18-49 demographic. It was by far Sunday’s most-watched program, as well as as the most-watched episode of “Lost” in over two years. But where does it stack up against other show finales? Well, right about 55th all-time — just behind the finales of “Wings,” “JAG,” and “Mr. Belvedere,” and slightly ahead of “The King of Queens.” Ouch.
Of course, you have to consider the circumstances. Sitcoms are much easier to drop in on than serial dramas, and more importantly, cable and DVR have permanently changed the landscape of television ratings, to the point that I’m not impressed that 106 million people watched the “M*A*S*H” finale — I feel sorry that they didn’t have more options.
Perhaps a better comparison for “Lost” is the “X-Files” finale: both shows worked in the realm of sci-fi mysteries and had fan bases that extended outside of general geekdom. In 2002, before DVR, “The X-Files” finale got 13.2 million voters, putting it at 60th all-time. So by that standard, “Lost” was a resounding success.
But still: “Mr. Belvedere.” Ha ha.