Red Sox sweep Fox to victory


The Boston Red Sox's sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series propelled Fox to a Sunday night victory and seemed to guarantee Fox would come out ahead for a second week in primetime.

This year improved only slightly from 2006's record low ratings. The 17.1 million viewers who tuned in on average for the four-game series was up 5% compared with last year's 15.8 million viewers for the five-game series between the Cardinals and Tigers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox likely will win another week in adults 18-49 with a 4.6 rating/12 share compared with second-place ABC's 3.7/10. The newly restructured MLB deal that gave Fox only the American League Championship Series and the World Series led to Fox's nine-night win out of 11 in adults 18-49.

While clearly hoping for a long series with lots of lucrative ad spots, Fox was able to work within the confines of a four-game sweep. Thanks to the pitching changes and other interruptions, Fox was able to run five games' worth of commercials within the four games. Likewise, the ALCS had eight games' worth of commercials, even though it ran seven games.

Nielsen estimated that 20.9 million viewers tuned in for Sunday's Game 4, which was ahead of ABC's power-hitting "Desperate Housewives" (18.1 million, 7.1/6) in viewership and came somewhat close to it in the demo.

CBS benched its 8 p.m. starter, subbing a repeat "CSI" (9.4 million, 2.2/6) before registering a week-to-week increase for "Cold Case" (11.7 million, 3.0/7) and about even ratings for "Shark" (10.3 million, 2.3/6). ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (12.7 million, 5.1/13) was up strongly week to week.

With "Sunday Night Football" taking a rest because of the World Series, NBC fell to fourth place for the night. But it was still better than the CW's family drama "Life Is Wild" (1.1 million, 0.4/1), dropped from last week in the demo (0.5/1).