The World Series lacked any real drama this year, but there was no suspense when Nielsen issued the primetime ratings results for last week: Fox cruised to its second straight victory.
Among smash drama “House” — the week’s No. 1 telecast among young adults — and four games of the Fall Classic, Fox won five nights of the week in key demos. Season leader ABC had a strong week, too, with its regular entertainment skeins, but it was no match this time around.
Overall, according to “live plus-same day” Nielsen estimates for Oct. 22-28, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 4.6 rating/13 share, a full 3 shares ahead of runner-up ABC (3.7/10). CBS ran a distant third (3.0/8), followed by NBC (2.6/7), Univision (1.5/4) and ESPN and CW (both at 1.2/3).
Fox also won comfortably in adults 25-54 (5.2/13), people 12-34 (3.5/11) and total viewers (13.8 million) in delivering its best averages since May.
Fox surged 44% over the same week a year ago when it aired just two games of the Fall Classic. Of course, the flip side of the short series means the current week is shaping up as a tough one for the net, with last-minute repeats substituting for World Series games 5 and 6 on Monday and today.
The World Series, which ended Sunday with Boston’s fourth straight victory over Colorado, averaged a 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 17.1 million viewers overall — up 14% and 8% respectively vs. last year’s five-game series between St. Louis and Detroit.
Sunday’s game scored the best ratings for any baseball game this postseason (7.1/18 in 18-49, 20.94m), standing as the week’s No. 3 program in 18-49 and No. 2 in total viewers.
Elsewhere for Fox, “House” continues to shine (7.6/18, 18.11m), while lead-in “Bones” ran a solid second in its timeslot (3.2/9, 8.94m).
ABC enjoyed its strongest showing since premiere week, led by Thursday’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (7.4/18, 18.17m) and Sunday’s trio of “Desperate Housewives” (7.2/16, 18.28m), “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (5.3/13, 14.39m) and “Brothers & Sisters” (5.0/13, 12.59m). “Brothers” logged its best 18-49 score since last November, and was the week’s No. 1 10 o’clock show in the demo.
Other highlights include season highs for “Dancing With the Stars” (5.5/13, 21.37m) and its results show (4.5/11, 18.06m), and more winning scores for Wednesday newbies “Pushing Daisies” (3.2/9, 9.67m) and “Private Practice” (4.5/11, 11.91m).
Also looking good is Monday comedy “Samantha Who” (4.5/10, 13.68m) in its second week; it held up well on Monday of the current week (4.5/10, 14.18m).
CBS, with “CSI” airing a repeat, was paced by vets “Two and a Half Men” (4.8/11, 13.94m) and “CSI: Miami” (4.6/12, 15.66m) on Monday as well as Thursday staple “Survivor” (4.5/12, 14.19m).
Among new shows, “Cane” continues to struggle on Tuesday (2.0/5, 7.98m), but “Kid Nation” (2.5/7, 7.86m) was on the rise for a second straight week, and “Moonlight” (2.4/7, 8.39m) has taken control of Friday’s middle hour in key demos. “Moonlight” took advantage of a season high for its “Ghost Whisperer” lead-in (2.7/10, 9.99m), as the spooky psychic skein saw its traditional Halloween-week boost.
NBC sank to fourth place without “Sunday Night Football,” which had its “bye week” due to the World Series. Net instead was led by “Heroes” (4.9/11 in 18-49, 18.01m), “Law & Order: SVU” (4.7/13, 12.31m) and “The Office” (4.7/11, 8.96m). Also of note was the first demo victory of the season on Thursday for “ER” (3.7/10, 9.25m).
New Wednesday shows “Bionic Woman” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 7.81m) and “Life” (2.5/6, 6.87m) slid to their lowest scores to date despite a pretty good start for unscripted mentalist skein “Phenomenon” (3.0/8, 8.55m) kicking off the night.
Univision joined Fox as the only broadcaster to perform better than the same week a year ago, as the Spanish-language net saw its best-yet weekly 18-34 delivery for 9 o’clock telenovela “Destilando Amor (Essence of Love)” (2.8/10).
CW had a pretty quiet week, with its best numbers again coming from vets “America’s Next Top Model” on Wednesday (2.4/6 in 18-49, 4.74m) and “Smallville” on Thursday (1.9/5, 4.65m).
ESPN was the easy leader among the cable nets, thanks to the “Monday Night Football” game between Indianapolis and Jacksonville (5.1/13 in 18-49, 12.50m) and Thursday’s college football top-10 battle between Boston College and Virginia Tech (1.6/5, 4.01m).
USA was a solid No. 2, led by “WWE Entertainment” on Monday (1.9/5, 4.81m) and its firstrun “Law & Order: CI” on Thursday (1.3/3, 3.62m).
Other standouts included MTV’s “The Hills” on Monday (2.2/5, 3.67m) and History Channel’s “Lost Book of Nostradamus” on Sunday (1.3/3, 3.52m).