WORLD SERIES A WINNER FOR FOX

Fox's coverage of The World Series may have seen a 25-percent ratings drop from last year, but it was good enough to give the network a lead among adults 18-49 last week and also give it its best numbers since the last edition of American Idol ended in May. The four games between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays all wound up among the top ten among the younger demographic most desired by advertisers, but only two landed in the top-ten among overall households. CBS remained ahead in viewers and households, placing five shows in the top ten. ABC placed three shows in that list. But NBC once again struck out. With no Sunday Night Football on its schedule, it drew its lowest overall ratings of the season. In the tight race between the NBC and ABC nightly newscasts, NBC came out ahead, thanks presumably to Brian Williams's serialized interviews with Sarah Palin. NBC Nightly News averaged 8.41 million viewers for the week versus 8.07 million for ABC's World News. CBS remained a distant third with 6.2 million viewers.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), ABC, 12/18; 2. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 11.7/17; 3. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 10.7/16; 3. NCIS, CBS, 10.7/17; 5. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 10.1/15; 6. The Mentalist, CBS, 9.6/14; 7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 9.5/14; 7. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 9.5/14; 9. World Series Game 4, Fox, 9.3/15; 10. CSI: NY, CBS, 9.2/15; 10. (Tie) World Series Game 1, Fox, 9.2/15.

CNN, THE WIRE SERVICE?

CNN is planning to launch a new wire service that will compete against the Associated Press and Reuters and has invited leading newspaper editors to attend an all-expense-paid "summit" at its Atlanta headquarters in December where the service will be unveiled, Editor & Publisher reported on its website Tuesday. The invitation observed that CNN already operates its own internal wire service, using reports from a worldwide staff of 3,800 operating out of 22 international bureaus and 15 domestic bureaus. "We now believe we have the base to offer this service to other news organizations." It was not clear whether the invitation was also sent to rival broadcast and cable news groups.

CNN TURNS DOWN OBAMA INFOMERCIAL

CNN said Tuesday that it turned down an offer by the Barack Obama campaign to purchase a half-hour of primetime television time tonight (Wednesday). The political infomercial is scheduled to air on NBC, CBS, Fox, Univision, TV One, BET, and MSNBC. A CNN spokesman told Reuters: "We'd rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television." Although the ad was distributed to the networks on Monday, its content remains a mystery. The New York Times, saying that it viewed a "minute-long trailer" for the program saying that it will feature Obama speaking directly to the camera about his campaign and also talking to four families of "everyday voters [about] their everyday troubles, and his plans to address them." Television Week reported on its website today (Wednesday) that the campaign had spent a total of $3.5 million to buy the infomercial time.

BROOKS WANTS LEACHMAN FOR YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN MUSICAL

One day after Cloris Leachman was cast out of Dancing With the Stars, the New York Post is reporting that Mel Brooks wants to cast her in his stage version of Young Frankenstein. Brooks had originally said that he was doubtful that the 81-year-old actress had the "stamina" to reprise her film role as Frau Blucher for eight shows a week. At the time, Leachman was said to have been heartbroken over being rejected for the role. A spokesman for Leachman was noncommittal about the reported offer, telling the Post: "Cloris has received several interesting offers. We cannot confirm that Young Frankenstein is one of them."