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According to early overnight ratings, last night’s Cards victory was the most-watched World Series game in years.

Friday night’s Game 7 earned a household rating of 16.2 — the biggest since 2004, when the Red Sox won its first title in 86 years. If you take out games played by the Red Sox or Yankees, it was the top-rated overnight World Series game since 2002 and was Fox’s largest overnight audience measurement since last season’s American Idol finale. More precise national ratings will released later today, but Fox analysts expect these benchmarks will hold up.

The performance is great news for Fox, which was bracing itself for a ho-hum championship series and taking flak for having to adjust its schedule to accommodate its annual MLB coverage. Yet the network ended up with its first Game 7 since 2002.

As for how entertainment programs like NBC’s Chuck and Grimm premieres fared Friday night, that story is here.

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