Wednesday TV's Wasted Sacrifice? Lost killed off a major character—Charlotte (Rebecca Mader)—opposite the second hour of a two-hour American Idol, and apparently paid the price, drawing fewer than 10 million viewers (9.8 million, to be precise, per Nielsen estimates).
Maybe People Just Don't Like to See Executions? Lost killed off one character, and was down; Idol killed off a bunch of contestants and was down, too (estimated 24.6 million, the night's biggest audience, versus 26.4 million). Lost didn't seem to be Idol's problem—Idol grew stronger in the 9 p.m. hour in viewers and the 18-49 demo.
Etc.: Cult shows Life (4.7 million) and Life on Mars (5.1 million), both down from last week, could use bigger cults about now.