Cards-Rangers game lifts Fox to Wednesday ratings victory

Though down from last year, coverage of the opening game of the World Series lifted Fox to victory on Wednesday, drawing the largest aud on the night for the net since the finale of “American Idol” in May.

Nielsen estimates that the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers averaged a 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 14.17 million viewers overall — down some from last year’s opener between the Rangers and San Francisco Giants (4.7/14 in 18-49, 15 million viewers overall), whose demo score was the best of that five-game series.

This makes it the lowest-rated World Series opener since 2006, when a Saturday start produced a 3.6 demo rating and 12.84 million viewers overall for the first game in the series between the Cardinals and Detroit Tigers.

While not big by World Series standards, Game 1 was Wednesday’s most-watched program overall and was enough to put Fox on top for the night in demos. (ABC and CBS could leap-frog Fox in 18-49 when all same-week DVR playback viewing is counted.)

Fox, of course, is rooting for a competitive series, which typically results in higher ratings down the line. There hasn’t been a Game 7 of the Fall Classic in seven years.

Elsewhere Wednesday in same-day nationals, CBS’ “Survivor” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 11.24m) took advantage of “The X Factor’s” absence to edge up week to week, and “Criminal Minds” similarly gained at 9 (3.9/10, 13.15m), with the latter the most-watched entertainment series on the night. And at 10, “CSI” (2.6/7, 10.79m) was flat week to week but edged back ahead of ABC rookie “Revenge” (2.5/7, 7.99m).

ABC remained solid in the night’s opening hour with “The Middle” (3.0/9, 9.13m) and rookie “Suburgatory” (3.1/8, 8.82m), with the latter continuing to look good by building on its established lead-in in 18-49 rating. In the 9 o’clock hour, “Modern Family” (5.7/14, 13.05m) and “Happy Endings” (3.0/7, 6.81m) were down from their above-average deliveries of last week, and 10 p.m. newbie “Revenge” dropped 7% in 18-49 and was up slightly in total viewers.

NBC saw leadoff comedy “Up All Night” (2.1/6, 5.63m) hold steady, while 9-11 p.m. dramas “Harry’s Law” (1.3/3, 8.39m) and “Law and Order: SVU” (2.2/6, 7.66m) were up a tick. At 8:30 p.m., a special repeat of “Whitney” did a 1.2/3 in 18-49, which is still a smidge better than the final episode of “Free Agents” to air in the slot.

At CW, a “Ringer” repeat (0.4/1, 1.14m) was followed by “America’s Next Top Model” (0.9/2, 1.94m), which was up a smidge.

In its third outing, FX rookie drama “American Horror Story” (1.5/4, 2.59m) edged up week to week.

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