ABC’s ‘Stars’ steps all over baseball ratings

Alphabet's 'Dancing' to the top

Auds chose the samba over America’s pastime on Tuesday: Ratings for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” were on the way up, while postseason baseball on Fox was down.

The lights are flickering for NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” meanwhile, which was down Tuesday nearly 20% from its modest week-earlier bow.

As for baseball on Fox, after coming in more than 20% below last year’s opening-round averages (thanks in part to no series advancing to a deciding fifth game), the League Championship Series round bowed to soft numbers, as well.

The Detroit Tigers’ 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics settled for a 2.8 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.59 million viewers overall — down 22% in the demo from last year’s first game between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels (3.6/10).

The National League matchup between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals is expected to generate higher ratings for Fox, which dispatched its top announcing team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver to the series, which was skedded to begin Wednesday night.

Best hope for the net is that both of its League Championship Series are extended to six or seven games, which would ratchet up the drama and ratings, even if they started at a lower level.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” kicked up its heels to in-season highs (5.6/15 in 18-49, 20.10m) to stand as the night’s top-rated program. This reps the Alphabet’s best in-season, non-sports demo delivery in the timeslot since November 2003.

Now in its third season, show delivered its best scores to date (excluding finales) in women 18-49 (8.1/20) and women 25-54 (10.0/22).

At 9:30, Ted Danson laffer “Help Me Help You” (3.0/8, 9.89m) again dropped sharply from its “Dancing” lead-in and was flat week to week. Beginning Nov. 28, net will pair “Help” with another new laffer, “Big Day,” in the 9 o’clock hour.

NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” declined 19% from its modest bow of one week ago, running fourth in the 8 o’clock hour. Considering “Friday’s” critical acclaim, net figures to stick with it for at least a little while to see if ratings can start going in the other direction.

CBS was paced by “NCIS” at 8 (3.9/11 in 18-49, 15.86m), NBC by slot-leading “Law & Order: SVU” at 10 (4.6/12 in 18-49, 13.89m). CW’s “Gilmore Girls” hit a season high (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.71m) but remains behind its WB ratings range of last fall.

ABC won the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, with Fox fourth in these broad measures but first in male demos.

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