Lost is what it is.

Last night's two-hour season finale averaged a steady 12.2 million viewers, per Nielsen Media Research estimates. The show peaked in its coffin-revealing final half-hour, with 12.7 million.

The overall performance was on par with its strike-shortened season average (up 4 percent).

It was far off from last year's season finale (down 12 percent) and this year's season premiere (down 24 percent).

Noting that the number marked Lost's lowest-ever season finale is to point out something that's both true and virtually insignificant. Given the ongoing ratings erosion, nearly every show posts its lowest-ever season finale with each successive season.

(Spoilers ahead, consider yourselves warned.)

In the case of Lost, it has over the years lost much of its ability to mass a "Who Shot J.R.?" crowd. Its first season cliff-hanger, for example, averaged 20.7 million.

Once the final numbers are in, last night's Lost should go up a bit—ABC noted that Lost gets a boost of nearly 2 million viewers once weeklong DVR playback figures are counted. Most shows tend to add on only about 1 million viewers via DVR usage.

But even if Lost has an exceptionally big week among TiVo fans, it won't help the series in the final standings. Like the finales of fellow ABC shows Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty, Lost's aired after the end of the 2007-08 season.

As if any of this matters to John Locke. Dead is, after all, dead.

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