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November 07, 2008

ABC sets 'Lost' fifth season premiere date

Lost_ben_2 "Lost" is coming back, and sooner than you might think.

Sources say ABC is scheduling a two-hour premiere for the fifth season debut of the Emmy-winning thriller on Wednesday, Jan. 21. The premiere will be preceded by a one-hour clip show (so three hours of "Lost" total).

That means "Lost" is returning to its Wednesday-at-9 p.m. time period. The most recent fourth season aired on Thursdays -- first at 9 p.m., then shifting to 10 p.m. after "Grey's Anatomy" returned to air following the writers strike. The new premiere date is also slightly earlier than last season.

ABC has lined up 17 episodes for 2009, which is one hour more than the show's now-standard 16-episode tally. The network added an extra hour to compensate for last year, which was cut short due to the strike. Also, yesterday THR reported that Reiko Aylesworth is in negotiations for a major recurring role on the show.

The recently picked up "Private Practice" is currently in the same slot and there's no word yet where it will go once "Lost"returns. 

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