Fox was buoyed by the final two games of the Boston Red Sox' stunning World Series win early last week, but struck out after that and had to settle for a second-place finish, behind CBS.

Here's a look at the week's homers and strikes:


"60 Minutes." With its cameras catching Ashlee Simpson in the lip-sync act, plus "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels insisting he was shocked -- shocked! -- to learn there was lip-syncing on his show, the CBS newsmag coughed up its largest audience in more than four years.

"Desperate Housewives." Driven by its best performance to date with men between the ages of 18 and 54, "Desperate Housewives" last Sunday bagged its biggest total audience to date -- more than 22 million.

"Center of the Universe." The twice-delayed premiere of John Goodman's new CBS sitcom held on to nearly 100 percent of its "King of Queens" lead-in with 10.4 million viewers opposite the final game of the Series.

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Despite its lousy Tuesday time slot opposite the World Series, this holiday classic was the No. 1 show of the week among kids aged 2-11. In that age bracket, it scored the highest rating of any prime-time broadcast on any network since the final episode of "American Idol 3" last May. In case you're wondering, there have been more than 2,400 prime-time broadcasts across the six networks since that "American Idol" finale.

World Series Game 4. Wednesday's final game attracted nearly 29 million viewers -- Fox's highest rated World Series game since Game 7 in 2002.


Ewan McGregor. On the one hand, film star McGregor ("Star Wars: Episodes I, II and III," "Moulin Rouge!") probably got Bravo to foot the bill for his little round-the-world motorcycle-riding, beard-growing vanity tour otherwise known as "Long Way Round." On the other hand, first-episode stats show that McGregor has only 191,000 fans so devoted they plan to sit through this six-episode exercise in self-indulgence. That, in turn, will probably drive down his salary on his next film by about 15 percent. Sometimes, pookie, it's best to pay your own way and not assume your fans find your every movement utterly fascinating.

NBC. The peacock network's rerun-laden lineup finished fourth last week among 18-to-49-year-olds, which the network says is the age group on which it makes all its ad sales. It's the first time NBC has finished fourth in the demographic during an official TV season since the week of April 9, 2001.

"CSI: New York." CBS's latest "CSI" clone clocked 13 million viewers last Wednesday -- the smallest audience ever for a "CSI" original telecast. Which means that ABC's new drama "Lost" moved ahead of "CSI: New York" in season-to-date averages and ABC could, for one week at least, claim it had the top two new series of this television season: "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost."

Rob Lowe. Another Lowe-led drama bites the dust. CBS announced yesterday afternoon that it had scrubbed "Dr. Vegas" from its Friday lineup for the November sweeps, in favor of rerun episodes of "Without a Trace" and various "CSI."

Radio Music Awards. The promise of an actual Ashlee Simpson performance resulted in 2.2 million fewer viewers than last year for this trophy show, and 24 percent fewer 18-to-49-year-olds. Last year, Michael Jackson had put in an appearance; this year they only had Janet.

"Father of the Pride." NBC has shelved its animated sitcom about the Siegfried & Roy lions for the November sweeps after last week's episode scored a series-low 6.6 million viewers. The network will blow up its fat-farm competition "The Biggest Loser" to 90 minutes for the next three weeks to cover for its lack of "Pride."

The week's 10 most-watched programs, in order, were: CBS's "CSI," Fox's World Series Game 4, Fox's World Series Game 3, ABC's "Desperate Housewives," CBS's "Without a Trace," CBS's "CSI: Miami," CBS's "60 Minutes," CBS's "Survivor: Vanuatu," CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and ABC's "Monday Night Football."

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in Bravo's "Long Way Round": Circling the globe in 20,000 miles and six sparsely watched episodes.