ABC said Tuesday that freshman hits Desperate Housewives and Lost will be back next year, as well as Alias and Boston Legal. Desperate Housewives, a comedy-drama about suburban angst from openly gay creator Marc Cherry, is the network's top-rated series of the current season with 22.8 million weekly viewers and ranks fourth for the season to date among all shows. The series helped pull ABC out of a protracted ratings slump. The network is number 2 in average weekly viewers for the season so far, compared to its distant fourth-place status at the same time last year. Teri Hatcher, who won a Golden Globe for her role, stars along with Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, and Nicollette Sheridan.
Lost is winning its Wednesday time slot and is drawing 15.9 million weekly viewers, making it the 14th-ranked program in prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research. The drama, about plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island, features an ensemble cast including Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Naveen Andrews, and Josh Holloway. Alias, with Jennifer Garner as a fetching spy, will return for its fifth season after improving its ratings this year, ABC said. Boston Legal, a reworked version of the canceled The Practice, with Emmy-winning stars James Spader and William Shatner, will get a second season after winning its Sunday time slot among total viewers. Complete network lineups for the following season, including renewals and new series, will be unveiled in May in New York. (Lynn Elber, via AP)