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'Lost' and 'Idol' begin their time slot face-off (kinda)

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Lostamericandol_lFox is going in for the kill. Beginning tonight, American Idol and Lie to Me will swap time slots, with the impressive new Tim Roth drama kicking things off at 8 p.m., and the ratings juggernaut starting an hour later at 9 p.m. Impact? For Idol: probably none. But Lie to Me will now have to make do without the most popular lead-in on the grid.

More importantly, the switch could really put the pressure on ABC’s Lost, which was barely edging out Lie to Me and CBS’s Criminal Minds in its 9 p.m. time slot. Ratings for the island drama have progressively declined this season, and a two-hour Idol in February indicated additional vulnerability.

How is this going to change your Wednesday nights? Lost is a repeat tonight, but can American Idol and Lost co-exist? Or will Idol cut further into Lost’s losses even when Sawyer & Co. return next Wednesday?  And what about Lie to Me? Can the frosh procedural stand on its own?

addCredit(“Lost: Mario Perez/ABC; Cowell: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images”)