UPDATED: The Chicago Cubs took a shellacking Tuesday night in the first game of the World Series, going scoreless against the Cleveland Indians for a final score of 6-0. But Fox isn’t likely complaining on Wednesday.
In Nielsen’s final ratings, the broadcast scored 19.37 million viewers and a 5.6 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic on Fox. That’s way up from the already high audience for the first game of 2015’s New York Mets-Kansas City Royals series — that Game 1 notched an average audience of 14.9 million and a 4.6 demo rating. (The Royals ultimately beat the Mets in five games.) This is the biggest audience for Game 1 since 2009, when the New York Yankees fell to the Philadelphia Phillies before coming back to win the Series in six. Game 1 in 2009 drew 19.5 million viewers and a 6.3 in the 18-49 demo.
In order to beat out a possible rain delay, Wednesday’s game has been moved up an hour, with the first pitch set for 7:08 p.m. on the East Coast.
In preliminary ratings on the channel guide:
“This Is Us” continues to do astonishingly well for a broadcast drama in this day and age. Even with the possible ratings whirlpool of the World Series on Fox, the show managed to pull in a 2.4 demo rating and 8.68 million viewers, down about four tenths from last week, but not bad in the face of two MLB teams who haven’t won a World Series in a combined 176 years. “This Is Us” once again built on its “The Voice” lead-in (2.1 demo rating, 9.4 million total viewers). “Chicago Fire” followed up with a 1.6 in the demo and 6.94 million viewers.
CBS was relatively immune to World Series damage. “NCIS” pulled in a 1.7 demo rating and 13.86 million viewers, down a tick from last week. “Bull” came in two tenths down from the week before with a 1.5 demo rating and 11.59 million viewers. “NCIS: New Orleans” brought in a 1.3 and 9.63 million, up a tenth from the prior week.
ABC’s comedies were roughly on par with last week in the demo, as well. “The Middle” came in with a 1.5 demo rating and 5.585 million viewers. “American Housewife” followed with a 1.5 and 5.03 million viewers. “Fresh Off the Boat” ticked down a tenth to 1.3 in the demo and 3.84 million viewers. “The Real O’Neals” was steady with a 1.0 demo and 3.2 million viewers on the whole. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” came down a tenth to a 0.8 and 2.47 million viewers.
On The CW, “The Flash” remained steady with a 1.0 demo rating and 2.28 million viewers, as did “No Tomorrow,” with a 0.3 and 853,000 viewers.
As a reminder, most of these series will see big viewership lifts once viewing within three and seven days is counted, though since most of those viewers aren’t watching the ads, they don’t translate to the ratings networks guarantee advertisers.