BASEBALL STRIKES OUT

The National League Playoff game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies struck out Monday night against all the major competition, which included Monday Night Football on ESPN. Although figures for the NFL telecast were not immediately available -- cable ratings are generally released after those for the broadcast networks -- they are almost certain to come out on top, given their recent performance. Since MNF also no doubt captured most sports viewers, the fourth game of the MLB playoff series, which was won by the Phillies, averaged just 7.28 million viewers -- leaving Fox in last place among the major networks. The No. 1 program of the night on the broadcast networks was ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which averaged 17.66 million viewers, peaking in the 8:30 p.m. half hour with 18.35 million. CBS took over the top spot at 10:00 p.m., as the season premiere of CSI: Miami drew 13 million -- but that figure was 21 percent below last year's number for the season premiere of the drama.

BLURRY ECONOMIC FUTURE AFFECTS HDTV SALES

Perhaps it's the economic slowdown; perhaps it's only people waiting for the holiday clearances to begin, but sales of high-definition TV sets have slowed in recent weeks. In an interview with today's (Tuesday) Wall Street Journal, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Craig Moffett remarked, "It's not a coincidence that signs of a real turn in HD sales date to the middle of September, when the story of the stalling economy jumped from the business page to the front page with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. ... Consumers are justifiably scared and the wide-screen TV is among the most discretionary of purchases." If it continues, the slowdown in HDTV sales could also affect the satellite TV business, which has been competing with cable by boasting that it offers more HDTV channels than cable -- and selling HDTV packages at a premium rate, Moffett noted.

JOOST JOUSTS AGAIN

Joost, the online video site that was supposed to be the CBS-backed alternative to NBC and News Corp's Hulu and Google's YouTube, is being relaunched today (Tuesday) after its original iteration failed to attract viewers. From now on, Joost's videos will be streamed using Flash video rather than Joost's proprietary software, which some users reportedly regarded as too complicated to install and use. The announcement comes one day after CBS and YouTube announced a deal under which longform CBS and Showtime shows would be made available on YouTube. However, Joost says it is launching with 46,000 professionally produced videos. With Joost, people will also be able to communicate through various interactive links with others who are viewing the shows, the website said.

TINA FEY SAYS SHE'LL BE DONE WITH PALIN NEXT MONTH

Tina Fey says that she will only be doing her impersonations of Sarah Palin until election day. "If she wins, I'm done," Fey said in an interview with TV Guide. "I can't do that for four years. And by 'I'm done,' I mean I'm leaving Earth." Meanwhile, in an interview with the New York Post, Jerald Podair, a professor of American Studies at Lawrence University, said, "Presidential impersonators do influence elections, and in this one, Tina Fey is well on her way to ruining Sarah Palin's political career." John Pitney Jr., professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College, compared the Fey skits with those featuring Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford in the 1970s. Chase portrayed Ford as a stumbling fool. "Ford was among our most athletic presidents, and he had a wide ranging knowledge of public-policy issues" Pitney said. "But because of SNL many came to think of him as a buffoon."