Game 2 keeps Fox at top of primetime

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NEW YORK -- A much closer World Series Game 2 between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies had the same effect on television, with Fox winning Thursday's primetime.

Even with "Grey's Anatomy" facing it, Fox rode baseball to victory with 16.9 million viewers and a 5.3 rating/15 share in adults 18-49, Nielsen Media Research said Friday afternoon. It was down slightly from last year's World Series Game 2, which was played on a Sunday after an NFL national game on Fox, though up 7% from last year's Game 4, which was played on a Thursday.

Yet nothing stopped "Grey's" (18.2 million, 7.4/18) from winning the time period and the night in viewership and the demo, especially because "CSI" (15 million, 3.9/9) was in repeats for the first time since the season premiere last month. That helped boost "The Office" (9 million, 4.7/11), up from last week's 4.5/11 and the final season premiere of "Scrubs" (6.9 million, 3.8/9) that was up 6% from last year's season premiere. "The Office" also came in ahead of everything, even baseball, among men 18-34.

The 10 p.m. hour went to baseball, but "ER" (9.2 million, 3.7/10) made it a second week in a row in adults 18-49, while "Without a Trace" (12.7 million, 3.3/9) won in viewership. ABC's "Big Shots" (7.3 million, 3.0/8) was steady week to week.

CBS' "Survivor: China" (14.2 million, 4.5/12) won in the full 8 p.m. hour against baseball. ABC's "Ugly Betty" (10 million, 3.3/9) was up slightly week to week. NBC's "My Name Is Earl" (8.2 million, 3.6/10) was up 33% in the demo and scored its highest viewership since its September premiere. "30 Rock" (6.5 million, 3.1/8) was up 19% in the demo. The CW's "Smallville" (4.6 million, 1.9/5) was down in adults 18-49, though "Supernatural" (3.2 million, 1.3/3) was up slightly to its best performance all season.

The top markets for the World Series were Boston (51.2/71), Providence (41.1/56) and Denver (40.6/57), with New York garnering an 11.9 and Los Angeles garnering a 10.4, behind baseball stronghold St. Louis' 14.5.

For the night, Fox (15.8 million, 4.8/13) was leading the night in viewership and adults 18-49 against ABC (12 million, 4.6/12); CBS (14 million, 3.9/10); NBC (8.2 million, 3.8/10); and the CW (3.9 million, 1.6/4).
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