Fox sees Rays of light

World Series fuels net's best week in five months

Fox took the lead in the ratings last week thanks to its World Series coverage, trumping competitors with its highest-rated week since May.

Airing four games between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, Fox was up 44% from the previous week in the adult demo to overthrow previous winner CBS, though the latter still won the week among total viewers.

Sunday's Game 4 (15.5 million viewers, 5.1 rating/13 share in the key adults 18-49 demographic) was the highest-rated of the games, though collectively the games have scored 25% lower than last year's Boston Red Sox-Colorado Rockies World Series.

Fox also had a solid boost on the scripted front, with "House" (13.1 million, 5.6/15) posting its best number since its premiere.

That left CBS and ABC tied for second place, with ABC posting gains over last week, pulling its largest audience since premiere week. Sunday's "Desperate Housewives" (16 million, 5.8/13) was on top this round, with Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" slipping a few pegs (14.5 million, 5.4/13).

Although it fell to second place this week, CBS remains No. 1 for the season in all key measures. This is the first time in 20 years the network has been able to make that claim after the first five weeks of the season. The Eye had Thursday's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (19.5 million, 5.5/13) growing slightly, yet new show "Eleventh Hour" placed last in its time period (11.9 million, 3.1/8). The Wednesday night comedy block of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (7.8 million, 2.4/7) and "Gary Unmarried" (7.6 million, 2.5/7) grew to season highs. Friday night's "The Ex List" (5.3 million, 1.5/5) fell to a season low and has been yanked from the schedule.

Lacking "Sunday Night Football," fourth-place NBC fell 19% this week. The network was led by its Thursday night pairing of "The Office" (8 million, 4.2/10) and "Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update" (8.8 million, 4.0/9), though new shows including Monday's "My Own Worst Enemy" (5.7 million, 2.5/6) and Friday's "Crusoe" (6.1 million, 1.3/4) posted declines in their second week on the air.

The CW was up for the week despite a mixed Monday night, with "One Tree Hill" (3.7 million, 1.9/4) hitting a season high and "Gossip Girl" (3 million, 1.4/4) falling to a season low. Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model" (4.4 million, 2.1/6) matched its season high.