By Amy Ryan
Updated September 23, 2005 at 05:24 PM EDT

Do you prefer to watch a Darwinian struggle for survival on an uncharted Pacific island or on Manhattan Island?

Viewers overwhelmingly opted for the former on Wednesday, with Lost anchoring a huge night for ABC, while the less-than-cutthroat competition on the premiere of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart drew NBC’s lowest numbers for the night. 23.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the castaways descend into the hatch, earning Lost its biggest audience ever. 16.9 million stuck around to watch the premiere of Invasion. The network even drew 14.6 million to the Lost Season 1 recap at 8 p.m., opposite Stewart’s first Apprentice, which drew about half as many (7.7 million). Even NBC’s new E-Ring, which followed Apprentice: Martha and faced off against Lost at 9 p.m., drew 9.4 million.

Sorry, Martha, you just don’t fit in.

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