The most hotly anticipated return of any television series is, hands down, the fourth season of ABC’s filmed-in-Hawaii hit, “LOST.” And today, ABC announced that the show will debut in a new Thursday night timeslot, at 9 p.m. EST.
The January date calls into question the traditional advance screening of the season premiere on Waikiki beach, previously said to be scheduled for Feb. 2. Will the beach screening be moved back? Or will it be scrapped entirely, perhaps another victim of the ongoing writers’ strike? Considering that the annual beach premiere has drawn thousands of fans, I sincerely hope the tradition continues. Though moving it back to Jan. 26 would certainly cause headaches for out-of-state fans who already made travel arrangements for the following weekend.
Moving “LOST” from Wednesday to Thursday is an interesting move. One, it gets out of the way of the inexplicable “American Idol” juggernaut on Fox. It also makes a good dramatic alternative to NBC’s strong comedy line up (though it looks like the writers’ strike will mean NBC’s Thursday night will feature “Celebrity Apprentice” instead). It’s toughest competition will probably be “Without a Trace” on CBS, which will have new episodes to show off beginning Feb. 7.
“LOST” is ceding it’s long-held Wednesday night slot on ABC to a new series, “Cashmere Mafia,” and “Men in Trees.” Suffice it to say, I much prefer ABC’s current tenant, “Dirty Sexy Money.”