Red Sox-Rockies game hits home run for Fox

Opposite Game 2 of the World Series on Fox, ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” ruled as the night’s top show among young adults, though Fox is expected to win the night.

According to preliminary Nielsen estimates, the Boston Red Sox’s 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies averaged a 5.1 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers overall on Fox’s affils from 8:30 to 11 p.m. When Nielsen issues national ratings this afternoon, the average for the game — which extended until about midnight in the East — is expected to rise by roughly 10%. Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday night on Fox.

The World Series wasn’t the only sports action that figured to divert auds away from entertainment programs on Thursday, as ESPN’s college football matchup between Boston College and Virginia Tech can be expected to average at least 5 million viewers.

At ABC, “Ugly Betty” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) was in line with its previous week’s performance, while “Grey’s Anatomy” (roughly 7.4/15 in 18-49, 18.1 million viewers overall) looks to be up slightly. Net again dropped off sharply from there, with “Big Shots” (roughly 3.1/7 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

NBC’s “My Name Is Earl” bounced back from a firstrun low the previous week to its second best score of the fall (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), which in turn helped lead-out “30 Rock” show some improvement (3.1/8 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall). Star of the night for the Peacock continues to be “The Office” at 9 (4.7/11 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), which beat baseball in men 18-34 (6.2/17). At 9:30, the seventh-season premiere of “Scrubs” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) was up vs. its opener of a year ago. And rounding out the night, “ER” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) was the top non-sports program in 18-49.

CBS was a bit below average at 8 with “Survivor” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 14.2 million viewers overall), followed by a rare fourth-place finish in 18-49 for “CSI,” which aired a repeat (3.8/12 in 18-49, 14.8 million viewers overall). At 10, “Without a Trace” (3.3/12 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall) ran third in the demo and second to baseball in total viewers.  

CW’s “Smallville” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was down a bit, while lead-out “Supernatural” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) looks to be up slightly week to week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.8/14; ABC, 4.6/10; CBS, 3.9/12; NBC, 3.8/11; Univision, 1.7/4; CW, 1.6/4.

In total viewers: Fox, 15.6 million; CBS, 13.9 million; ABC, 12.0 million; NBC, 8.2 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 2.8 million.

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