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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Ratings soar as viewers find Lost
Matthew Fox in Lost
Lost follows plane crash survivors who are stranded on a desert island
TV drama Lost has got off to a successful start in the UK with six million viewers for its first episode on Channel 4, unofficial figures show.

About a group of plane crash survivors, it is the latest hit from the US.

Overnight ratings showed the episode's first part averaged 6.1 million and the second half was seen by 5.9 million.

That made it the channel's most successful debut for a US series. ER opened with five million and Desperate Housewives launched with 4.6 million.

"We are absolutely delighted with the huge success of these ratings," Channel 4 director of acquisitions Jeff Ford said.

1. Big Brother - 6.6 million
2. Lost - 6m (overnight figure)
3. Celebrity Big Brother - 5.7m
4. Desperate Housewives - 5.4m
5. Jamie's School Dinners - 5.3m
"There is obviously a large appetite for innovative and distinctive quality drama."

Lost's feature-length first episode was split into two parts on Wednesday, with Big Brother sandwiched in between.

The drama follows a group of survivors stranded on a mysterious Pacific island, with the two-part opening episode costing approximately $10m (5.58m).

The series was a runaway success for the ABC network in the US.

Big Brother, which saw hairdresser Craig Coates kicked out in a surprise eviction, achieved an audience of 6.4 million - its second largest this series.

Only Coronation Street and Emmerdale achieved higher viewing figures on Wednesday evening.

Lost and Big Brother both beat BBC One's Silent Witness, which averaged 5.7 million, and The Bill on ITV1, with 5.4 million.

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