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.

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