Sox lead Fox to top of weekly standings

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NEW YORK -- Fox rode the Boston Red Sox comeback to a ratings championship, with its ALCS telecasts giving the network the edge in last week’s primetime.

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

The week started slowly for Fox, whose third game of the ALCS (9.9 million, 3.0/8) 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 Who” got great retention out of “Dancing,” and according to preliminary data released Tuesday on its second outing seemed to not skip a beat. It was definitely better than last year’s sitcom “Help Me Help You.” Meanwhile last week, “CSI: Miami” (15.6 million, 4.8/12) handily won 10 p.m. against a fading “Journeyman” (6.7 million, 2.7/7).

Baseball -- 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 with the Stars” results show (17.3 million, 4.4/11) and CBS’s “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 13 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-to-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 although CBS’s “Criminal Minds” (15 million, 4.0/10) was a strong contender, NBC’s “Bionic Woman” (8.6 million, 3.4/9) less so. CBS’s “CSI: NY” (14 million, 4.1/11) easily dispatched newcomers “Dirty Sexy Money” (8.7 million, 3.0/8) and “Life” (7.6 million, 2.8/8).

The Big Four got pretty strong demo numbers on Thursday, led by ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (18 million, 7.3/17) and “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 the ALCS Game 5 (13.1 million, 4.1/11). Striking out, however, was the premiere of CBS’s “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 “ER” (10.1 million, 4.0/11), ahead of the 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 “Numb3rs” (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.

And Game 7, which was close until the very 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. “Desperate Housewives” (18.2 million, 7.3/16) beat it, however in the demo although 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 the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For the week ended Sunday, Oct. 21, Fox (11.8 million, 3.9/11) won in both measures over ABC (10.6 million, 3.5/10); CBS (11 million, 3.0/8); NBC (8.3 million, 3.1/8); and The CW (3.2 million, 1.3/3).
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