'Dancing' doesn't miss a beat Tues.


NEW YORK -- Chris Carpenter may have zipped through Detroit's lineup to win Game 3 of the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was no match for the heavy hitter that is ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

"Dancing" blew through the competition Tuesday to become an all-star in primetime in both key audience measures. The show averaged 20.7 million viewers and a 5.4 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday.

Fox's coverage of St. Louis' 5-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers -- giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series -- couldn't compete with such aspiring hoofers as Mario Lopez and Jerry Springer. The game averaged 15.6 million viewers and a 4.8/13 in the demo, with its overall ratings down 7% from the extra-innings battle in last year's World Series Game 3 between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

While "Dancing" was in line with its season-to-date average, it lost a little spring in its step from last week's 21.5 million and 6.0/16 in the demo. The Ted Danson sitcom "Help Me Help You" (10.6 million, 3.2/8) showed a slight week-over-week improvement from its previous 10.3 million and 3.1/8.

Only ABC counterprogrammed against the World Series, though NBC at 8 p.m. had a new episode of "Friday Night Lights" (6.3 million, 2.6/7) that fell from last week's 6.5 million and 2.7/7. CBS ran repeats of "NCIS" (11.7 million, 3.0/8), "The Unit" (9.8 million, 2.9/7) and "Criminal Minds" (9.1 million, 2.9/8). A repeat of NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" (10.7 million, 4.0/11) beat ABC's original "Boston Legal" (10.5 million, 3.1/8) but was behind the World Series.

On the CW, "Gilmore Girls" (4.7 million, 2.0/6) came in second in women 18-34 against "Dancing," while "Veronica Mars" (3.3 million, 1.5/4) hit its season-high ratings in adults 18-34 and adults 18-49.

Nightly averages: ABC (15.7 million, 4.3/11), CBS (10.2 million, 2.9/8), NBC (8.8 million, 3.3/9), Fox (14.7 million, 4.4/12) and the CW (4 million, 1.8/4).