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October 29, 2009

Highest-rated World Series opener in five years

World seres UPDATED: Wednesday's World Series opener ranked as the most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 in five years, easily winning the night for Fox.

The Yankees vs. Phillies matchup was seen by 19.5 million viewers and drew a 6.3 rating among adults 18-49.

That's a 34% larger audience and 31% higher rating than last year and the largest Game 1 numbers since Cardinals vs. Red Sox in 2004. It was also the highest-rated World Series game overall since 2007.

The promising start to the World Series should help solidify Fox's current ranking as the top-rated network for the season, a position the broadcaster hopes to maintain until "American Idol" returns in January.

Closest competitor ABC seemed to flourish with male-skewing sports taking over Fox -- or perhaps its "Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" repeat (6.3 million viewers, 2.0 adults 18-49 rating) boosting the starter slot normally occupied by struggling "Hank" deserves the credit.

Either way, ABC's entire lineup climbed this week. "The Middle" (6.5 million, 2.2) rose 10%, "Modern Family" (9.3 million, 3.7) climbed 9% to rank as the night's highest-rated entertainment program and "Cougar Town" (7.5 million, 3.2) was up 3%. "Eastwick" (5 million, 1.8) rose 13%.

CBS and NBC tied for third, with the former in repeats. NBC's "Monsters vs. Aliens" animated special (7 million, 2.2) performed well for NBC in that time period but modestly overall. It was followed by a repeat of itself, which couldn't have been great for retaining viewers. "Law & Order: SVU" (8.2 million, 2.8) and "Jay Leno Show" (5 million, 1.5) were on par. On the CW, "America's Next Top Model" (3.5 million, 1.6) hit a season high.

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