I finally watched the Flash Forward pilot. If the quality of subsequent episodes is as good as the pilot, I see the show doing just fine, particularly in the demo. It might be a deal like Fringe where the viewer numbers aren't huge, but the demo looks really good. Of course last season Fringe had House or American Idol as its lead-in for most of the season.
People will compare the show to Lost, but I'm not sure it's a great comparison. No major spoilers here, but if you haven't seen any of the promotions or read anything about it and want to go into it knowing absolutely nothing, look away now.
The basic premise in Flash Forward is that everyone in the world blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds, with most people catching a glimpse of the future. Lost is a show with a lot of mysteries and the complexity of unwinding them increases as the show goes on.
While "what happened and why?" will surely be part of the show's plot line, and I'm sure they'll throw in a few twists and turns (they threw in a pretty cool one near the end of the pilot), I can't see it getting nearly as complicated as Lost. That's probably a good thing as far as holding on to viewers.
It was obviously a fairly expensive pilot with lots of attention paid to a city (Los Angeles) in chaos after the blackouts. People were driving, flying helicopters, etc, when the blackouts occurred. It definitely had some nice visual effects.
***more spoiler-y spoilers (even though they are already all over the Internets)***
Everyone's visions of the future are all on the same day at the same time (April 29, at 10pm if you're in Los Angeles, but April 30 at 6am if you're in London). At the press tour screening, exec producer Marc Guggenheim said that by the end of season one they will get to April 29, 2010 (and beyond). Show creator David Goyer said that most of the questions raised by the initial flash forwards will be answered by the end of the first season, but said that April 29, 2010 would happen before the season finale.
Goyer also said the show currently has a 3 season arc, and that what happens after April 29, 2010 will be part of the mystery.
But my take from the pilot is that mostly the show will revolve around relationships and how people handle seeing what they saw during the flash forward, and I think that could go over well with a wide audience.
Of course, they're going to need to explain what the kangaroo was doing hopping around LA in the aftermath of the blackout.
OK, maybe it is a little like Lost.