Gary Susman
October 27, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Too bad Fox can’t have an all-baseball-all-the-time schedule year-round. The network’s coverage of playoff and World Series games accounted for five of the top 10 shows this week, according to Nielsen, with Wednesday’s American League champsionship game that saw the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees coming in at No. 1 with 31.5 million viewers. For the week, Fox averaged 22 million viewers, nearly twice the audience of second-place finisher CBS (11.9 million).

NBC, buried under the onslaught of ballgames on Fox and procedural crime dramas on CBS, landed just one show in the top 20 (ER, No. 16, 16.1 million viewers). The network averaged 9.6 million viewers for the week. Despite such hits as Desperate Housewives (No. 4, 21.5 million viewers), Lost, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC could muster no better than a fourth-place finish (8.9 million), thanks to such audience sieves as Less Than Perfect and The Benefactor. UPN, led by a strong showing for America’s Next Top Model (5.1 million viewers), averaged 3.8 million for the week, edging out the WB at 3.6 million.

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