Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly by Mario Perez/ABC and Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo by Craig Sjodin/ABC Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly by Mario Perez/ABC and Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo by Craig Sjodin/ABC

It's official, Ausholes!

I can now confirm what I first teased earlier this week: Team Darlton has sealed a deal with ABC to bring us an extra hour of Lost this season.

But there's a twist.

Lost isn't the only ABC hit experiencing an unexpected growth spurt. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Grey's Anatomy will also expand its season by an hour - and it has Lost to thank!

Allow me to explain. With a 14th hour of Lost now a done deal, the show's finale will swell to three hours. But, in what can only be described as an unorthodox scheduling move, the first hour of that finale will air on May 15, and then we have to wait two weeks - until May 29 - to get the last two hours! That's right, no Lost on May 22.


Apparently, Darlton convinced ABC that the final two hours had to air together. And with the finales of Grey's and Ugly Betty already slated for May 22 at 8 and 9 pm respectively, ABC really had no other choice than to sked Lost's two-hour exit for May 29. That, in turn, created a hole on May 22 at 10 pm - hence the net's decision to tack an extra hour onto the Grey's finale.

"We are very excited and grateful to [ABC president] Steve McPherson for working out the scheduling difficulties to allow us to make the second part of our finale two hours," says exec producer Carlton Cuse. "Damon and I were working on the script and we just couldn't get it all done in one hour without shortchanging the story. Now the finale will have all the sweep and emotional completeness we wanted it to have - along with, of course, answering who's in the coffin."

Still confused about how the new schedule will look? Let me break it down for you.

May 15
8 pm: Ugly Betty
9 pm: Grey's Anatomy
10 pm: Lost (part 1 finale)

May 22
8 pm: Ugly Betty finale
9-11 pm: Two-hour Grey's Anatomy finale

May 29
8 pm: Lost encore (part 1 finale)
9-11 pm: Two-hour Lost finale

All told, a pretty fraktacular turn of events. That is, unless you have a stake in the success of Swingtown. The controversial CBS drama was scheduled to debut on May 29 at 10 pm against little or no competition. Now it's up against the most anticipated 60 minutes of television all year.


I'm guessing you guys have an opinion on all this. Do you think the one week pre-emption will slow Lost's momentum? And, if so, is that a small price to pay if the end result is an extra freakin' hour of Lost? Sound off below!