The curse of the White Sox pales in comparison with the curse of the Red Sox.

This year's World Series matchup between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros is shaping up to be the lowest-watched series in history.

The first two games on Fox averaged 15 million on Saturday and 17.2 million viewers on Sunday, a 35 percent drop from the first two games of last year's historic games between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Last year's four-game series, in which the Red Sox finally put an end to 86 years of misery by winning the title, attracted more than 25 million viewers and was the most-watched World Series since 1995.

If the viewing levels of the White Sox-Astros series remain on par this week (last night's ratings will be available today), the 2005 World Series will wind up being the least-watched in history. The five-game subway series between the New York Yankees and Mets holds that dubious distinction, garnering just 18 million viewers in 2000.

Despite the low ratings for baseball, Fox captured a rare second-place finish for the week among the six networks, losing to CBS, which has now claimed victory in each of the five weeks of this TV season.

CBS was led again by its dominating Thursday night lineup, but it also got a boost from the increasingly popular Tuesday series "NCIS," which last week scored a career-high audience of 17.7 million.

NBC didn't have much to brag about, finishing fourth for the week, but its Pentagon drama "E-Ring" racked up its best number (9.6 million) in its five weeks on the air. While "E-Ring" has benefited from swapping with "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" from 9 to 8 p.m., Stewart's reality show continues to struggle, this week winning over just 6.6 million viewers.

UPN has canceled "Sex, Love & Secrets" after four episodes; last week, the series managed barely more than 1 million viewers and finished dead last among all 112 shows.

The week's top 10 programs, in order, were: CBS's "CSI"; ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost"; CBS's "Without a Trace"; ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"; CBS's "CSI: Miami," "Survivor: Guatemala" and "NCIS"; Fox's Game 2 of the World Series; and ABC's "Commander in Chief."