Primetime Ratings: 40 Million Watch World Series Thriller

UPDATED: Fox’s World Series finale crushed the competition Wednesday, as 40 million viewers watched a game seven that had everything: a lot of offense, aggressive managing, a big comeback, extra innings, a rain delay, and finally a—spoiler alert!—Cubs victory.

It was the Chicagoans’ first World Series victory in 108 years. The game ended after midnight; the ratings reflect primetime performance.

The game did a staggering 12.1 rating in adults 18-49, per Nielsen’s overnights, and a 35 share. Nielsen said it was the most watched game seven since the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves

Last year’s World Series finale, up against football, drew 17.2 million viewers as the Kansas City Royals finished off the New York Mets.

Everyone else was playing for crumbs. ABC had an honest go of it with its 50th Annual Country Music Awards at 2.9; that telecast is typically a strong playback performer in terms of live-plus-three day ratings. Last fall’s CMAs, which were not up against the World Series, did a 3.8.

Covering all of prime, ABC’s CMAs had an 8 share.

CBS did a 1.0/3. Survivor drew a 1.5, down 17%, while a Criminal Minds repeat did a 0.9 and Code Black slipped 30% to 0.7.

NBC, in repeats, scored a 0.7/2.

The CW scored a 0.4/1, with Arrow down 14% at 0.6 and Frequency a flat 0.3.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.