'Lost' Returns in January


Set your "Lost" countdown clocks to 75 days: ABC has set the show's season premiere date.

The show will open its fifth season with a two-hour premiere starting at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 21. It marks a return to Wednesdays for the show, which aired after "Grey's Anatomy" on Thursday nights at the end of last season.

Other than the date and the episode titles -- "Because You Left" and "The Lie" -- ABC hasn't released any information about the new season. It's expected to run for 17 episodes -- with the 17th partially making up for last year's strike-shortened 14-episode season -- which would put the season finale in late April or early May.

It remains to be seen what the addition of "Lost" to Wednesday nights will mean for ABC's current lineup on the night. " Private Practice," which ABC picked up for the full season a couple weeks ago, is likely staying put, but it's potentially bad news for either "Pushing Daisies" or " Dirty Sexy Money," both of which have been struggling in their second seasons.

The network has yet to announce a full midseason schedule. ABC also has three comedies, including NBC pickup " Scrubs," and three new dramas on tap for 2009.

"Lost" ended its fourth season by showing how the Oceanic Six got off the island and formed their cover story, with flash-forwards showing all six people decidedly unhappy with their post-rescue lives and realizing they have to go back. Which could be a problem, as the finale also showed Ben (Michael Emerson) moving the island to points unknown. And then there's the matter of Locke (Terry O'Quinn) being revealed as the man in the coffin.

Answers to some of the questions posed by those developments will start coming in 75 days.

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