The current World Series on Fox rallied to its best numbers to date on Sunday, teaming with an earlier NFL overrun to carry the net to an easy victory. ABC remained potent, leading the entertainment networks behind “Desperate Housewives” and a season high for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

According to time zone-adjusted Nielsen preliminary estimates, Game 4 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays averaged a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 15.5 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET — topping Game 1, which had been the highest-rated contest of this series (4.8 rating in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall).

Compared to last year’s Game 4 between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies (which was the final game), Sunday’s Game 4 comes in down more than 25%. However, compared to the 2006 Series between St. Louis and Detroit, it was flat in 18-49.

Earlier in the evening, Fox dominated at 7 o’clock with the final 30 minutes of the NFL game between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, which should produce a 9 rating or better in 18-49.

ABC had a solid night opposite the big sports action, as “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) had its best showing since its season premiere, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) achieved its best scores since last March. “Desperate Housewives” followed at 9 o’clock as the night’s top-rated non-sports program (5.7/13 in 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall), and “Brothers & Sisters” closed things out on par with recent performances (3.5/9 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall).

CBS had a quiet night, starting with “60 Minutes” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) and then picking up at 8 o’clock with “Amazing Race” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall). Wrapping things up were average scores for dramas “Cold Case” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) and “The Unit” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall).

NBC, whose “Sunday Night Football” took the week off in deference to the World Series, didn’t do much with the network premiere of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.6/14; ABC, 3.9/10; CBS, 2.6/7; NBC, 1.6/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.0 million; ABC, 11.6 million; CBS, 10.8 million; NBC, 3.9 million; CW, 0.7 million.