Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 23, 2010.
The season finale of "Lost," plus two hours of associated pre-finale coverage, delivered big, but not huge, numbers on Sunday night. They weren't the sort of numbers that a "Friends" finale drew, but that isn't surprising due to the concentrated nature of the "Lost" fanbase over the years. 
Ultimately, the two-and-half hour "Lost" finale (extending out of primetime to 11:30 p.m.) averaged nearly 13.5 million viewers and, more impressively, pulled in a 5.8 demo rating, carrying ABC to easy wins on Sunday.
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 4.8 rating, far ahead of the 2.4 rating for NBC or the 2.2 rating for FOX. CBS trailed with a 1.5 rating. 
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 11.44 million viewers to go with a 6.4 rating/11 share. CBS was second overall with a 5.8/10. NBC's 4.6/8 was third, beating the 2.7/5 for FOX.
CBS started the night in first overall with a 6.1/11 for "60 Minutes." ABC's "Lost: The Final Journey" tribute special did a 5.2/10 and won the hour easily in the key demo with a 3.7 rating. "Dateline NBC" was third, beating the 1.5/3 for "'Til Death" and a "Simpsons" repeat on FOX.
In the 8 p.m. hour, CBS' Brooks & Dunn special and ABC's "Lost: The Final Journey" both had a 5.9/10. The "Lost" special averaged more than 1.2 million viewers than the CBS special and had a 4.3 demo rating to win the hour. "Minute to Win It" kept NBC in third, ahead of the 3.0/5 for season finales of "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" on FOX. 
The first hour of the actual "Lost" finale did a 7.2/11 for ABC, averaging 13 million viewers and a 5.6 demo rating. CBS' Brooks & Dunn special improve hour-to-hour and stayed second overall (fourth in the demo). The first hour of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" was second with a 5.3/8, beating the 3.6/6 for FOX's "Family Guy" finale, though both shows tied for second in the demo with a 3.1 rating.
The "Lost" finale" had a nearly identical 7.2/12 and a 5.6 demo rating in its second hour. NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" had a 6.2/10 and a 3.6 demo rating in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS aired a "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" repeat and didn't really compete.
[Note that the last half-hour of "Lost," out of official primetime, went up to an 8.7/17 and a 6.4 demo rating.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.