By James Hibberd
October 20, 2011 at 04:40 PM EDT
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The first game of the World Series helped Fox win Wednesday night, but the telecast was slightly lower in the ratings than last year.

The Rangers vs. Cardinals face-off was seen by 14 million viewers, down just 2 percent from 2010. Some thought the game would sink below the 2006 Game 1 all-time low of 12.8 million, but the program avoided that fate. For more baseball’s impact on Fox’s fall, see the EW story: Is the World Series still worth it for Fox?.

Across the dial, broadcast rivals largely shrugged at the baseball competition. Which isn’t to say nothing interesting happened.

ABC’s Revenge (7.9 million, 2.5), after its climb last week, went back down a couple tenths. It’s 10 p.m. rival CSI (10.6 million, 2.6) stayed the same — but now has the edge and won the hour, while Law & Order: SVU (7.6 million, 2.1) continued to just hang out staring vacantly into space.

ABC’s comedy block remained steady with The Middle (9 million, 2.9) and Suburgatory (8.8 million, 3.1). In the 9 p.m. hour, however, Modern Family (12.8 million, 5.6) and Happy Endings (6.9 million, 3.0) were down slightly. Modern Family, as usual, was the night’s top-rated program.

CBS’s Survivor (11.1 million, 3.3) and Criminal Minds (13.1 million, 3.9) were both up a tick. NBC’s Up All Night (5.6 million, 2.1) was steady and so was Harry’s Law (8.2 million, 1.2). (No Jason Alexander guest star bump, apparently.) Okay, maybe nothing really interesting happened after all.

Read more:

Is the World Series still worth it for Fox?

‘Revenge’ recap: That Scheming Harlot

‘Modern Family’ recap: Back to School

‘Survivor’ recap: Ozzy Loses It