Jason Motte of the St. Louis Cardinals

Game 1 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers pulled in nearly 13 million fans, preliminary Nielsen data shows. It also scored a 3.8 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds.

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Still, the overnight ratings for the Series — which have dwindled over the years — were 8 percent below last year's overnights for Game 1. Fox can only hope the Fall Classic will go beyond four or five games, because interest substantially builds for sixth and seventh games

Last year's five-game Series averaged 14.2 million viewers — the second-lowest after 13.6 million in 2008. In 2009, the New York Yankees-Philadelphia Phillies series drew 19.4 million viewers.

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At 8/7, CBS' Survivor: South Pacific counted 11.1 million viewers, while ABC's The Middle grabbed 9.03 million and NBC's Up All Night 5.64 million. In the next half-hour, Suburgatory  lured 8.79 million people while a Whitney rerun — still filling the slot left by the canceled Free Agents  — pulled in 4.10 million. Yet another repeat of The CW's Ringer got 1.22 million.

Wednesday night's most-watched show, Criminal Minds, entertained 13.11 million people in prime time's middle hour vs. ABC's Modern Family (12.85 million); NBC's Harry's Law (8.18 million) and America's Next Top Model on The CW (1.89 million). After Family, Happy Endings had 6.89 million people tuning in at 9:30/8:30c.

In the final prime-time hour, CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation attracted 10.64 million; ABC's Revenge 7.94 million (exactly the same as last week); and NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 7.58 million.