NEW YORK – "Desperate Housewives" may be ABC's most popular show on the small screen, but "Lost" is the winner on the REALLY small screen.
After one month of offering downloads of ABC's two favorite shows for viewing on iPods, "Lost" has sold the most, said Stephen McPherson, ABC entertainment president. He had no sales figures, but Apple has already said it has sold more than a million copies of ABC shows.
"Desperate Housewives" pulled in just under 26 million viewers on TV, while "Lost" had 20 million last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Contrary to the fears of some ABC affiliates, McPherson said he believed selling iPod downloads drives more viewers to the shows on ABC because it gives fans who may miss episodes a chance to keep up with intricate plotlines.
So far, the results contradict McPherson.
Three "Desperate Housewives" episodes averaged 27.2 million viewers before the iPod announcement, while four episodes since then have pulled in 25.2 million viewers.
For "Lost," it's 22.7 million pre-iPod and 20.7 million after downloads went on sale, Nielsen said.
At an industry function Tuesday, McPherson scoffed at the notion that "Desperate Housewives" had lost its edge in its second season. Producers have tried to have more interaction among the main characters, he said.
"We probably tried to tie up too many loose ends in the beginning," he said.