With Fox in Batter's Box, NBC Throws Strikes


With help from new and old series alike, NBC emerged as the No. 1 broadcast network in Tuesday’s prime time. Fox’s first Major League Baseball post-season game, however, wound up near the bottom of the ratings pile.

NBC averaged a 4.9 rating/13 share in the key 18-49 adult demo, according to Nielsen national data for Oct. 4. Tuesday 10 p.m. heavyweight Law & Order: SVU (6.2/16) was the night’s top-rated show, but new series My Name is Earl wasn’t far behind at 6.0/15. (NBC announced Tuesday that it ordered nine more episodes of the half-hour comedy, which airs at 9-9:30.)

Both shows were up from last week, when Earl scored a 4.9 and SVU notched a 5.1. Last night's numbers for both shows were closer to their premieres two weeks ago. (Earl's rebound might be due to the absence of House on Fox, which on Tuesday began its noble but ratings-challenged baseball postseason.)

NBC also aired The Biggest Loser (3.4/9) at 8-9 p.m. and The Office (3.9/9) at 9:30.

Averaging 4.0/10, CBS took second place on the night. NCIS (4.4/12) at 8 p.m. was its best performer, followed by Amazing Race: Family Edition (4.3/10) at 9 p.m.

CBS debuted new series Close to Home, which finished with a 3.3/8. That was an improvement on the 2004-2005 season, when Judging Amy premiered in the same 10 p.m. time slot at 2.5/7.

The premiere of ABC’s Rodney, however, could not boast of a similar improvement. It finished at 2.8/7 in the demo last night, down from George Lopez’s 3.5/9 debut a year ago. But Commander in Chief, at 4.8/12, was up slightly from last week’s premiere (4.3/10).

ABC averaged 3.8/10 and finished in third place last night. The network also aired According to Jim (2.9/8) at 8 p.m. and Boston Legal at 10 p.m. (3.6/9).

Fourth-place Fox’s broadcast of the first Yankees-Angels contest in the American League Division Series posted a 3.4/9, up 6% compared to last year's ALDS Game One (3.2/9).

The WB was next, at 2.5/6. Gilmore Girls notched a 2.6/7 at 8 p.m. and Supernatural chalked up a 2.4/6 at 9 p.m.

UPN was in last place with a rehash of America’s Next Top Model (1.3/4) at 8 p.m.

At 9 p.m., Sex, Love & Secrets finished with a .6/1 that was flat compared to last week’s premiere. The future does not look bright for the drama, which stars Denise Richards; UPN has shuttered production on the show.