Batters up: Sox help Fox clear bases

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Fox rode the Boston Red Sox's comeback to a ratings championship, with its American League Championship Series telecasts giving the network the edge in last week's primetime.

Game 7 of the ALCS, which despite its 11-2 score was close through most of the night, was just the boost Fox needed to win Sunday and the week in viewership, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The week started slowly for Fox, whose Game 3 of the ALCS (9.9 million, 3.0/8) on Monday was roundly beaten by ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (19.4 million, 4.7/12) and the strong premiere of the sitcom "Samantha Who?" (14.4 million, 4.5/10). "Samantha" got great retention out of "Dancing" and, according to preliminary data released Tuesday, seemed to not skip a beat in its second outing. It definitely was better than last year's sitcom "Help Me Help You."

Meanwhile, "CSI: Miami" (15.6 million, 4.8/12) handily won 10 p.m. Monday against a fading "Journeyman" (6.7 million, 2.7/7).

Game 4 of the ALCS carried Fox to the win Tuesday night with 12.4 million viewers and a 3.9/11, even though ABC's "Dancing" results show (17.3 million, 4.4/11) and CBS' "NCIS" (17.5 million, 4.1/12) did better head-to-head. ABC's "Cavemen" (6.9 million, 2.8/8) came in slightly ahead of its lead-out "Carpoolers" (7 million, 2.7/8). The CBS drama "Cane" (8.5 million, 2.2/6) continued to decline and was beaten by NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" (12.5 million, 4.8/13) and ABC's "Boston Legal" (8.7 million, 2.6/7). The CW's "Reaper" (3.3 million, 1.5/4) improved week-over-week.

Anchored by new shows "Pushing Daisies" (9.9 million, 3.7/10) and "Private Practice" (11.8 million, 4.3/11), ABC won Wednesday night in adults 18-49, though CBS' "Criminal Minds" (15 million, 4.0/10) was a strong contender. NBC's "Bionic Woman" (8.6 million, 3.4/9) was less so. CBS' "CSI: NY" (14 million, 4.1/11) easily dispatched newcomers "Dirty Sexy Money" (8.7 million, 3.0/8) from ABC and NBC's "Life" (7.6 million, 2.8/8).

The Big Four got pretty strong demo numbers Thursday, led by ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (18 million, 7.3/17) and CBS' "CSI" (21.2 million, 6.5/15) duking it out at 9 p.m. NBC's hourlong "The Office" (8.6 million, 4.5/11) did well, as did the Red Sox's win behind Josh Beckett in Game 5 of the ALCS (13.1 million, 4.1/11). Striking out, however, was the premiere of CBS' "Viva Laughlin" (8.4 million, 2.3/6), which struck a sour note despite its strong lead-in from "CSI." That gave the win to NBC's "ER" (10.1 million, 4.0/11), ahead of ABC's fading "Big Shots" (7.6 million, 3.0/8).

Friday night went to CBS, whose "Moonlight" (7.7 million, 2.1/7) tied fellow freshman "Women's Murder Club" (9.7 million 2.1/7) in adults 18-49. "Ghost Whisperer" (8.9 million, 2.4/9) won at 8 p.m., while "Numbers" (9.8 million, 2.7/9) won against NBC's "Las Vegas" (7.7 million, 2.2/7) and ABC's "Men in Trees" (6.3 million, 1.7/5). Saturday belonged to Game 6 of the ALCS (11.1 million, 3.5/11), and it wasn't even close.

Game 7, which was close until the final innings (and out of primetime), won the night for Fox with 19.1 million viewers and a 6.7/16 in adults 18-49. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" (18.2 million, 7.3/16) beat it, however, in the demo, though nothing on CBS or NBC's "Sunday Night Football" (13.3 million, 5.5/13) could come close despite a snowy matchup between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the week ending Sunday, Fox (11.8 million, 3.9/11) won in both measures over CBS (11 million, 3.0/8), ABC (10.6 million, 3.5/10), NBC (8.3 million, 3.1/8) and the CW (3.2 million, 1.3/3).
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