World Series blowout still delivers win

HOLLYWOOD — Game 2 of the World Series was a ratings winner for Fox on Sunday even though the New York Yankees assumed an early lead and cruised to victory over the Florida Marlins.

Time zone-adjusted preliminary Nielsen averages indicate that Sunday’s baseball game will deliver roughly a 7.4 rating among adults 18-49 (up 12% over last year’s 6.6 for the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants) and 20.1 million viewers overall.

Viewers were there at the outset, as game’s opening hour was up about 20% year-to-year. But these gains dipped as the Yankees opened up a 6-0 lead after four innings en route to a 6-1 victory that evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

Fox, which also had an NFL game spilling into primetime, dominated the night. On the entertainment side, ABC was the top-rated net among adults 18-49, CBS in adults 25-54 and total viewers.

ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) hit a season high and finished third at 7, while “10-8″ (2.7/7 in A18-49, 8.3m) was in a close three-way battle at 8 with competing dramas “Cold Case” on CBS (2.8/7 in A18-49, 11.4m) and “American Dreams” on NBC (2.6/7 in A18-49, 7.3m).

“Cold” was up 27% in 18-49 vs. Eye laffers in the hour last year, while “Dreams” was off 38% from its rookie-season perf of a year ago. WB’s “Charmed” was flat (2.2/5 in 18-49) and was the top drama in 18-34 (2.7/8).

At 9, NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (4.7/11 in A18-49, 14.2m) topped ABC’s “Alias” (3.9/9 in A18-49, 9.4m), while ABC was back on top at 10 with “The Practice” (3.8/10 in A18-49, 10.6m) over “Lyon’s Den” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 10.2m).

CBS was led by movie “Hollywood Wives: The Next Generation” (3.0/7 in A18-49, 9.3m), the second strongest of four Eye pics this season.

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