Pundits have been afraid that the World Series between the Giants and Rangers would be the lowest-rated on record and certainly preliminary numbers are far below last year's audience.
No matter, though. Game One of the World Series carried FOX to ratings wins on Wednesday night.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.5 rating, comfortably ahead of the 3.0 rating for CBS. ABC's 2.7 rating was a close third. NBC, which aired mostly repeats, had a dismal 1.3 rating for the night, which only barely beat The CW's 1.1 rating.
Overall, FOX averaged 14.47 million viewers and an 8.6 rating/14 share. CBS' 7.1/12 and 11.81 million viewers finished second, with ABC's 5.0/8 and 7.94 million viewers in third. NBC was fourth with a 3.3/5 and 4.91 million viewers, beating the 2.47 million viewers and a 1.6/3 for The CW.
8 p.m. -- The beginning of World Series action between San Francisco and Texas gave FOX an estimated 15.37 million viewers and a 4.6 demo rating in the 8 p.m. hour. The game took a bite out of "Survivor: Nicaragua," which slipped to an estimated 11.63 million viewers and a 3.4 demo. ABC's "The Middle" and "Better with You" had strong weeks and averaged 8.59 million viewers. NBC's "Undercovers" limped to 5.41 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating in fourth. On The CW, "America's Next Top Model" was fifth with 2.775 million viewers.
9 p.m. -- In the 8 p.m. hour, viewers favored "Criminal Minds" over baseball, as the CBS drama averaged 13.94 million viewers. FOX's Giants-Rangers coverage was second overall with 13.56 million viewers and won the hour in the demo with a 4.4 rating. ABC's "Modern Family" (13.07 million viewers and a 5.1 demo rating) and "Cougar Town" (8.26 million viewers and a 3.3 demo) were both up for the week. NBC's repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" was fourth with 4.82 million viewers. A new "Hellcats" on The CW averaged 2.16 million viewers in fifth.
10 p.m. -- With FOX's baseball officially off-the-clock in the 10 p.m. hour, CBS' "The Defenders" came out on top with 9.86 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating. ABC's "The Whole Truth" was second with 4.56 million viewers, barely edging the 4.49 million viewers for NBC's "Law & Order: Los Angeles" repeat.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.