BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) -
The nation's television critics have bestowed their highest honors on "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," two surprise hit shows that led a ratings turnaround at ABC.

"Desperate Housewives," the steamy, darkly comic prime-time soap about suburban intrigue, was named program of the year on Saturday night by the Television Critics Association at its annual summer gathering.

The castaway thriller "Lost" claimed two TCA trophies, outstanding new program and outstanding achievement in drama.

Both shows debuted as unexpected hits last fall, paving the way for ABC's rebound from a three-year ratings slump, and both garnered considerable attention earlier this month when nominations were unveiled for the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

"Desperate Housewives," the most popular new show on U.S. television last season, clinched 15 nominations to tie veteran sitcom "Will & Grace" as the most Emmy-recognized series this year. It also was the first ABC show to win an Emmy bid for the top comedy prize in 11 years.

"Lost," meanwhile, was the most Emmy-nominated drama series this year.

Other TCA winners were the quirky but low-rated Fox show "Arrested Development," named best comedy, and the PBS investigative series "Frontline," which claimed its seventh honor in the category of outstanding achievement in news and information.

Hugh Laurie, star of the Fox medical drama "House," and Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, picked up individual achievement prizes in their respective drama and comedy categories.

Veteran sitcom star and stand-up comedian Bob Newhart, who has a recurring role on "Desperate Housewives," received TCA's 2005 award for career achievement.

Reuters/VNU