World Series Opens to 14.4 Million for Fox on Wednesday

Game 1 up vs. last year; ABC's 'Modern Family' is night's top series in demos despite declines

UPDATE: Game 1 of the World Series on Fox averaged 14.4 million viewers, putting it ahead of both last year (12.24 million for Tigers-Giants) and 2011 (14.17 million for Rangers-Cardinals) and standing as the network’s most-watched program of the TV season. It did a 4.2 rating in adults 18-49, up 17% from last year’s 3.6. In the local markets, the game did a 39.7 household rating/61 in Boston and a 36.0/54 in St. Louis.

Also in the updated nationals, ABC’s “The Middle” went up (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.31m), as did the net’s “Modern Family” (3.9/10, 10.32m), but “Super Fun Night” edged down (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.79m). As a result, “Super Fun Night” matched its week-ago rating.

CBS’ “Survivor” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.52m) and CW’s “The Tomorrow People” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.92m) were also up a tick.

In cable, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” did a strong 3.5/10 in 18-49 and 8.40 million. FX’s “American Horror Story” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 3.78m) tied CBS’ “CSI” as the top drama in 18-49 at 10 o’clock.


On a night that featured milestone episodes for ABC’s “The Middle” and CBS’ “CSI,” it was Fox’s coverage of the World Series that ruled in the ratings and outperformed last year’s opener.

Among series on the night, ABC’s “Modern Family” finished on top in demos (and will move ahead of baseball with DVR playback) while the net’s “Super Fun Night” held steady.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the Boston Red Sox’s 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series averaged a 4.1 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 13.7 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with the game’s averages expected to rise slightly in the nationals. Last year’s Game 1, between Detroit and San Francisco did a 3.6/10 in 18-49 and 12.24 million viewers overall in the nationals.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, Game 1 of the World Series earned a 9.8 household rating/15 share, up 11% in rating from last year’s 8.8/14. This must be especially encouraging for Fox because last night’s game was fairly lopsided from the early going.

Elsewhere, CBS was the top non-sports network with its lineup of “Survivor” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was down from last week, and “Criminal Minds” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), which were flat or up in various categories. “Criminal Minds” was the most-watched series on the night and the No. 2 broadcast series in 18-49 and 25-54.

And the 300th episode of “CSI” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), featuring the return of original cast member Marg Helgenberger, matched its season high in 18-49 while drawing its largest overall audience since April. It was the No. 1 broadcast drama in its timeslot in all key categories.

ABC’s “The Middle” celebrated its 100th episode with a 2.1 rating/7 share in 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers overall, down a tick from its most recent original, and was followed by rookie series “Back in the Game” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which was down from last week when it had a stronger lead-in from the special “Toy Story of Terror.” “Modern Family” was on the low side but remained the net’s tentpole (3.8/10 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), and “Super Fun Night” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) is up slightly over last week’s prelim score; this looks to be “Super’s” best retention of its lead-in since its premiere.

Closing the night for ABC was sophomore drama “Nashville” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which was in line with last week and again placed second among the hour’s broadcast dramas.

At NBC, “Revolution” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) matched last week’s score, which added 0.75 to its total with three days of DVR playback to improve sharply upon the net’s year-ago performance with comedies. It was followed by low numbers for “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which has tailed off after its hot start to the season, and the final Wednesday episode of “Ironside” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

CW’s “Arrow” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and “The Tomorrow People” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) were both down a couple of tenths from last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.1/11; CBS, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.2/6; Univision, 1.3/4; NBC, 1.2/3; CW, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 13.7 million; CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 7.0 million; NBC, 4.8 million; Univision, 3.2 million; CW, 2.4 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

More TV

  • George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia

    George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Catch-22” has caught the interest of several big-name global buyers. Chinese streaming platform iQiyi, Australian SVOD service Stan, and HBO Asia are among the latest to acquire the Hulu adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel, which is produced by and stars George Clooney. Paramount’s TV distribution unit struck the new deals for the series, which will [...]

  • Billy McFarland of the Fyre Festival

    Entertainment One Takes International Rights to Hulu's 'Fyre Fraud'

    Entertainment One has picked up international rights to Hulu’s documentary on the disastrous Fyre Festival. “Fyre Fraud” looks at the unscrupulous dealings of Billy McFarland, the self-aggrandizing huckster who sold thousands of tickets to a music festival in the Bahamas that turned out to be a sham. Duped by a promotional campaign on social media [...]

  • ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer Making Joan

    ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer to Make TV Series About Joan and Jackie Collins

    The colorful lives of movie star Joan Collins and her bestselling novelist sister, Jackie, will be dramatized in a TV series. Sony-backed Fable Pictures, the British film and TV producer behind “Stan & Ollie,” will make the series, having secured the TV rights to the Collinses’ story. The series, which has the working title “Joan [...]

  • Friends From College

    'Friends From College' Canceled by Netflix

    Netflix has canceled comedy series “Friends From College” after two seasons. “Friends from College will not return for a third season,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “We’re grateful to creators Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco for creating a wise, funny and supremely relatable show. We also want to thank the hard-working crew, [...]

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content