The pilot episode garnered 18.6 million viewers, easily winning its 9 pm Eastern / 8 pm Central timeslot, and giving ABC its strongest ratings since 2000 when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? initially aired—beaten only the following month by the premiere of Desperate Housewives. Based on its strong opening, Reuters dubbed it a "hit drama" noting that "the show appeared to have benefited from an all-out marketing blitz that included radio spots, special screenings and ABC's first billboard advertising campaign in five years." After four episodes aired, ABC announced Lost had been picked up for a full season order. Lost's first season averaged about 18.38 million American viewers.
The first season was nominated for twelve Primetime Emmy Awards. They won six: "Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series", "Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series", "Outstanding Drama Series" (J.J. Abrams), "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" (Michael Giacchino), "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series" and "Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series". Terry O'Quinn and Naveen Andrews received nominations in the "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" category.