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Fox, ABC play nice together

Fourth game sees best Fall Classic numbers so far

HOLLYWOOD — Baseball and “The Bachelor” picked up rating steam Wednesday, as the World Series on Fox and ABC’s reality show hit highs and coexisted nicely by playing primarily to different audiences.

Fox is guaranteed at least a sixth game in the best-of-seven series after the Florida Marlins tied things up at two games apiece with Wednesday’s extra-inning victory over the New York Yankees that drew this Fall Classic’s best numbers yet (7.5/22 in 18-49, 20.88 million viewers overall), according to Nielsen.

Through four games, the series is running 17% up on last year in 18-49 (6.9/20 vs. a 5.9/16 for Anaheim Angels-San Francisco Giants) and 10% below 2001 (7.7/21 for Yankees-Arizona Diamondbacks). In men 18-34, this year’s series is up 14% vs. last year (7.3/25 vs. 6.4/20) and off just 4% from two years ago (7.6/23).

As for “Bachelor,” the relationship reality skein hit a season high (6.6/16 in 18-49, 13.58 million viewers overall) and easily topped NBC’s “West Wing” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 12.06m).

While “Bachelor” was doing its best numbers among young women (9.4/24 in femmes 18-34), baseball excelled most among men 25-54 (11.0/29). The relationship show became the first program to outdraw the World Series among adults 18-34 (6.6/18 vs. 6.0/17).

Fox won Wednesday in 18-49 (with ABC second) and has now been the network leader on each of the past 11 nights it has aired baseball.

Elsewhere, ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” hit a four-week high (4.9/14 in 18-49, 12.34m), placing second only to baseball at 8, while “King of Queens” remains the saving grace for CBS’ Wednesday lineup (3.5/8 in 18-49, 10.36m).

The WB’s combo of “Smallville” and “Angel” popped with its best Wednesday numbers of the season, ranking second only to baseball in males 12-34 (3.1/10) and up 19% year-to-year in 18-34 (to 3.2/19).

“Smallville” led the 8 o’clock hour in 12-34 (4.0/13) and was the No. 1 show of the night in teens (5.1/18).

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