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Ritter farewell, baseball rule night

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Auds turned out in big numbers Tuesday for the final original episode of ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules” to feature the late John Ritter, and then switched over to baseball on Fox, which won the evening’s remaining half-hours.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen that could be significantly adjusted due to local preemptions for coverage of the California gubernatorial race, “8 Simple Rules” (6.9/20 in adults 18-49, 17.5 million viewers overall) was the night’s top program, roughly matching what its two closest pursuers rated for the 8 o’clock half-hour. ABC also received another strong perf from 9 o’clock laffer “According to Jim” (5.3/13 in adults 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall), while the rookie comedy “I’m With Her” (5.0/13 in adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) also ran second in the 8:30 slot.

Reliable fast nationals were not available for the Chicago Cubs-Florida Marlins baseball game, but it figures to average roughly a 5.3 rating in adults 18-49, enough to give Fox the night in the demo.

NBC again received OK perfs from “Whoopi” (2.9/9 in adults 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) and “Happy Family” (3.3/9 in adults 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), and things picked up in the 9 o’clock hour with “Frasier” (4.7/12 in adults 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall) and “Good Morning, Miami” (4.2/10 in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall). “Miami” retained a good chunk of its “Frasier” lead-in, tying with ABC comedy competish “Less Than Perfect” in the 18-49 demo.

CBS finished fourth in both adults 18-49 and 25-54, led by “Navy NCIS” (2.8/8 in adults 18-49, 12 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.4/14; ABC, 4.9/13; NBC, 4.0/10; CBS, 2.8/7; WB, 1.8/5; UPN, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: Fox led with roughly 14.6 million.

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