ABC Wins, Astros Get Glory

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ABC won Wednesday night’s prime time race for 18-to-49-year-old viewers, but Fox's pennant-clinching baseball game nibbled away at Lost and other Wednesday heavies.

ABC averaged a 5.7 rating/15 share during prime time in advertisers’ key demo, according to Nielsen national ratings for Oct. 19. Fox’s three-hour Cardinals-Astros coverage pulled in an average 4.2/11, while CBS (3.7/9) took third and NBC (3.2/8) was fourth. UPN averaged a 2.0 and The WB drew a 1.2/3.

ABC's leadoff sitcoms were down slightly. From 8-8:30, George Lopez posted a 3.0/9, down from 3.4/10.

The second episode of Freddie (8:30-9) dropped to a 3.5/6 from a 4.2/11 premiere last week. The network's two hourlong suspense dramas were about even: Lost hit with a 9.3/22 from 9-10, and Invasion scored a 4.7/12 from 10-11 p.m.

ABC's sitcoms won the 8 o'clock hour, topping the start of the baseball game, NBC's E-Ring (2.8/8) and UPN's America's Next Top Model. Lost won the 9-10 p.m. slot, beating the middle of the ball game, CBS' Criminal Minds (3.9/9) and NBC's The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (2.6/6).

However, as the Astros closed in on their pennant victory, Fox outran other broadcast networks. The game swelled to an average 5.2/11 from 10-11 p.m., throwing out sophomore player CSI: NY (4.8/12, down from 5.3/13 last week) and upstart kid Invasion (flat at 4.7/12).

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