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Sluggish World Series Gives Fox Ratings Win

UPDATED: Game 1 of the World Series gave Fox a decisive ratings victory Wednesday night, though fell notably from last year's opener.

The Texas Rangers vs. San Francisco game drew a 10.4 overnight household rating and a 4.7 adult demo rating, down 25% from last year's Phillies vs. Yankees match. The game was basically steady with 2008, which was the second lowest-rated Game 1 ever.

The 2009 Series ranked overall as the weakest championship performance in broadcast history. With last night's Game 1 opening lower, and Game Four and Game Five going head-to-head with NFL telecasts, Fox is facing an uphill battle this year to avoid another record low.

The baseball competition didn't faze third-ranked ABC, whose comedy block posted gains across the board and set some ratings records. The Middle (9.5 million viewers, 2.9 adult demo rating), Better With You (7.7 million, 2.5), Modern Family (13.1 million, 5.1) and Cougar Town (8.2 million, 3.3) all rose this week.

In fact, this marks the most-watched episode of Modern Family ever. It's also the most-watched telecast of The Middle, with Better With You matching its high. The fun stopped at 10 p.m., where The Whole Truth (4.4 million, 1.1) declined 12%.

CBS ranked second with Survivor (11.8 million, 3.5), Criminal Minds (13.9 million, 3.4) and The Defenders (9.8 million, 2.1), all ebbing slightly.

NBC had repeats and a weak Undercovers (5.5 million, 1.4). The CW aired America's Next Top Model (2.7 million, 1.3) and Hellcats (2.2 million, 0.9).