The 2004-05 TV season went out with a bang when the two-hour season finales of Fox’s “American Idol” and ABC’s “Lost” drew a collective average of 51 million viewers to broadcast television. The fourth-season “Idol” conclusion, in which Carrie Underwood was named winner of the singing competition, averaged more than 30 million viewers — up about 1.5 million viewers over last spring’s finale. In the same 8-to-10 p.m. time period, the season’s last “Lost” episode logged nearly 21 million viewers. That nearly matched the new hit drama’s best number of the season, which it scored for an episode that aired before “Idol” returned to Wednesday nights. Interestingly, the two highly hyped finales did not cannibalize each other, as some industry navel-gazers had feared. Among all the broadcast networks, viewer levels were up 5 percent Wednesday night week to week.
Ratings peaked in the final half hour for both show. Even MORE people flocked to a TV at 9:30 Wednesday night. Television isn’t dead; it’s just rarely this interesting.