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Posted at 03:03 PM ET, 10/27/2011

World Series game delay wreaks havoc, boosts ratings for primetime shows


St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and manager Tony La Russa during Game 4 of the World Series. (Matt Slocum - AP)
Rain forced Major League Baseball to re-schedule Wednesday’s World Series game on Thursday, leaving Fox — official broadcast TV home of the World Series entertaining a mere 2.4 million viewers with non-promoted “Glee” reruns — and some other networks wishing they hadn’t cleared their primetime deck and slapped in a slate of re-runs to get shows out of the way of baseball.

NBC, for instance, aired repeats of “Up All Night,” Whitney” and “Harry’s Law” to get out of baseball’s way. The best you can say about NBC’s re-run ratings is that the network finished the night ahead of Fox’s “Glee” repeats.

The networks that have evolved a nuts-to-you programming response to the World Series fared better Wednesday night. ABC, for instance, enjoyed its second most watched Wednesday of the season with “The Middle” posting some series-best numbers, ditto “Suburgatory,” “Revenge” clocked its second highest numbers ever, and even “Modern Family’s” rerun of last year’s Halloween episode — a classic — garnered that comedy’s best ever repeat performance.

Meanwhile CBS chose not to take a break in its “Survivor: South Pacific” competition despite expected World Series competition and wound up copping its biggest audience yet of this edition – nearly 12 million viewers.

The next morning NBC mulled the possibility of a World Series game on Friday – opposite its scheduled season debut of ‘Chuck” and premiere its new fairytale crime drama series, “Grimm.” And, there was a certain amount of hyperventilating among “Fringe” fans that the Fox show might be scrubbed from Friday’s lineup to make room for the Series.

By  |  03:03 PM ET, 10/27/2011

 
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