By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 25, 2002 11:00 AM

The World Series may have hurt, rather than helped, FOX’s overall standing in the Nielsen race last week.

Aside from ending up the lowest-rated Fall Classic in history, the Angels’ seven-game victory over the Giants also disrupted the start of FOX’s new fall season, as such popular series as “24” and “The Simpsons” have yet to establish a viewership foothold with new episodes. Other FOX shows were broadcast just once or twice before getting preempted for several weeks by baseball.

Still, FOX did have the week’s most-watched program, Game Seven of the World Series, and two other baseball games in the top 10, according to Nielsen Media Research. The games pushed the network to No. 1 overall, averaging 16.3 million viewers.

CBS followed in second place with 12.6 million viewers, thanks to four shows in the top 10, led by a rerun of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in the No. 2 spot. NBC (with an average of 11 million viewers) had three shows in the top 10, led by a rerun of “Friends” and an original episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

The top program on ABC (9.4 million viewers on average) was “Monday Night Football,” which pulled in 15.8 million viewers.

For the week of Oct. 21-27, the Top 10 shows were as follows:

1. World Series Game Seven, FOX, 30.8 million viewers
2. “CSI,” CBS, 25 million
3. “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 21.5 million
4. “Survivor: Thailand,” CBS, 20.9 million
5. World Series Game Six, FOX, 19.2 million
6. “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 18.5 million
7. World Series Game Four, FOX, 18.1 million
8. “Friends,” NBC, 17.1 million
9. World Series Game Three, FOX, 17 million
10. “Still Standing,” CBS, 16.6 million