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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
23.4m watch second series of Lost
Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox is the leading man in US drama Lost
The first episode of the second season of castaway drama Lost has attracted a US audience of 23.4 million people.

The number of viewers for the episode on Wednesday was nearly three million higher than for the season one finale, the series' previous best.

The drama attracted more than double the audience of any other show screened during its timeslot, including reality show The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

Lost was named outstanding drama series at this year's Emmy Awards.

The nearest rival to the ABC series' new episode was a repeat of last season's Quentin Tarantino-directed finale of CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which had 10.8 million viewers.

Leading show

ABC screened a recap episode entitled Destination: Lost immediately prior to the new season debut to give fans two hours of viewing.

Destination: Lost attracted 15.3 million viewers, more than double the 7.1 million who watched the Martha Stewart programme which was premiered by NBC at the same time.

A spin-off of the Donald Trump series, the show marks the second stage of US lifestyle guru Stewart's comeback following her five-month sentence for her role in a stocks scandal.

The first series of Lost is currently running on Channel 4 and E4 in the UK.

Another Channel 4 import, Desperate Housewives, begins its second season in the US on Sunday.

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