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Will 'Lost' be lost in the shuffle to 10 p.m.?

This is what I'm thinking:

* "Lost" Family Time: ABC's decision to move "Lost" to 10 p.m. Wednesday when it returns in February should spell the end of family viewing in many households. Like mine.

The mysterious series premiered three seasons ago at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when it became the only series I watched with my wife and then 11-year-old son. Last season's move to 9 p.m. Wednesday was tolerable because it gave an extra hour for homework to be finished.

But 10 p.m. Wednesday on a school night? That could be a bigger problem. It's an advertisement for the DVR. The episodes won't end until 11 p.m. and it isn't the easiest show to put out of your mind instantly when it is time to go to bed.
The series' intensity has been blamed for the inability of "Lost" to serve as a strong lead-in for last year's 10 p.m. series, "Invasion," and this year's ratings disappointment, "The Nine." The lead-in factor is one of the reasons believed to be behind the move to 10 p.m. The theory goes that ABC doesn't feel "Lost" can provide a good lead-in, which may not be good news for the 11 p.m. news at Channel 7.
* "Criminal" Decision: Another factor believed to be behind ABC's "Lost" move is the increasing popularity of the CBS drama, "Criminal Minds," which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday. "Minds" beat "Lost" in viewers for a few weeks this fall, but "Lost" still holds a big lead among viewers age 18 through 49. CBS also plans to showcase "Minds" after its coverage of this year's Super Bowl, which could increase its popularity further. However, ABC's move to 10 p.m. Wednesday doesn't do "Lost" any favors in Western New York. It will compete with "CSI: NY," which is showing increasing popularity here.
* Heeere's Johnny: It's hard to argue with "Heeere's Johnny" as No. 1 among "The 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases." But Donald Trump's "You're fired" as No. 3? The voters must have short memories.
* Mission Impossible for WNYO: To illustrate how hard it is for the station to get an audience for the MYNetworkTV telenovelas airing in prime time, consider this: Reruns of ancient series "Mission Impossible" and "Hawaii 5-0" on WNGS outdrew the finales of "Desire" and "Fashion House" here.
* "Six Degrees" May Be Up a Tree: ABC's plan to return the low-rated "Six Degrees" to 10 p.m. Thursday after "Grey's Anatomy" early in 2007 may have hit a snag now that Anne Heche's adorable "Men in Trees" is in the time slot. Last Thursday, an original "Trees" episode had a double-digit rating in Western New York and kept almost all of the audience of a "Grey's" repeat. That's a degree of success that "Six Degrees" never attained.
* Bravo for "Lights": If you've missed any of NBC's "Friday Night Lights" -- and ratings suggest most people here have -- be advised that one of NBC's cable channels, Bravo, is running a marathon of the first 10 episodes from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 30.
* Reality Hits Home: Marla Hawkins of Buffalo, her husband Maurice and their three children are featured in a two-part episode of the Fox reality series, "Trading Spouses" (9 p.m. Friday and Dec. 22). The family's temporary mom is Henrietta DeConcoliis of Miami Beach, Fla.

e-mail: apergament@buffnews.com.

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