A plane crashes on a mysterious island, and the survivors find themselves battling one another, their secrets, and a man-eating creature. While Lost doesn't sound like the typical show to kick off a Wednesday night primetime programming block, Disney's
Ratings for the first two parts of the show's two-hour pilot were strong, especially in the highly coveted 18- to 49-year-old target demographics group. Yet Disney isn't stopping there given the early buzz on two more dramas -- Boston Legal and Desperate Housewives -- that debuted on the struggling network last night.
It's hard to imagine when a new fall season has meant so much to a broadcaster. When CEO Michael Eisner announced that he would be stepping down at the end of his current contract, the media's eyes were once again glued to Disney. Once the board announced that it would like a new leader named by June and that the only internal candidate the company would consider was president and COO Bob Iger, those eyes bounced right back to ABC's ratings.
Watching over a sluggish ABC as Eisner tapped him as his choice as successor wasn't Iger's finest resume highlight. Falling behind Viacom's
Yet with the company scoring well with Lost and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to go along with its proven Monday Night Football and The Bachelor shows, is ABC's revival at hand? Will one or two more winners from last night truly turn the tide and bring Iger that much closer to the throne?
The fact that the network's winners are hourly dramas is significant because it allows for twice as many ads to be served as your typical half-hour situational comedy. ABC tried to load up its calendar with sitcoms once Who Wants to Be a Millionaire overstayed its trendy welcome and came up mostly empty. A strong start is important because Fox has yet to break out its big guns for the fall season and ABC has typically eased up in the ratings once its Monday gridiron contests call it a football season.
It's got a fighting chance now -- and to think it all started with a bumpy flight.
What do you think of ABC's new dramas? Will it be enough to get ABC back into the game? Will it be enough to help COO Bob Iger assume the role of CEO in two years? All this and more -- in the Disney discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wasn't initially sold on Lost, but it grew on him fairly quickly. He owns shares in Disney and Viacom.