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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 26) -- How to Get Away with Murder season finale deadens competition

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
ABC left some ratings corpses on rival networks Thursday with its two-hour season finale of How to Get Away with Murder.

HTGAWM scored especially big among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, averaging 132,460 from 8 to 10 p.m. The next closest competitor, NBC’s 8 p.m. episode of The Blacklist, drew 91,460 viewers in this key demographic.

The first hour of HTGAWM and Blacklist tied for first in total viewers, though, with 271,986 apiece. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then put up a good fight, but lost to HTGAWM by a score of 278,960 viewers to 251,064.

CBS’ new episode of The Big Bang Theory was tops from 7 to 7:30 p.m. with 404,492 total viewers and 151,381 in the 18-to-49 realm. The second half-hour of Fox’s American Idol then beat CBS’ second episode of The Odd Couple in total viewers. But The OC had a slight edge with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of Backstrom took a beating, running fourth in both ratings measurements. NBC’s new The Slap likewise was No. 4 across the board in the 7 p.m. hour.

But Thursday’s biggest bomb was CBS’ 9 p.m. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Among the Big Four broadcast networks, it ranked an overall last in prime-time with just 48,818 total viewers and 22,077 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results on the day after the February “sweeps” ratings period.

Gannett8 lapped up the big lead-in from HTGAWM and cruised to easy wins at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). In both cases, Gannett8 grew its audience, which is impressive.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. races and NBC5 rang up twin wins at 5 p.m. The Peacock also had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Ups, downs and at least one winning hand for all in February D-FW newscast "sweeps"

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The February 2015 “sweeps” closed with a big ratings-enhancing “Arctic Blast,” helping Fox4, NBC5, Gannett8 and CBS11 to look a bit better from year-to-year in their battles to lure rather than lose viewers. Still, the stations lost those battles a majority of the time.

Gannett8 won the big prize by sweeping the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Fox4 defended its 6 a.m. title in both ratings measurements while NBC5 swept the 5 p.m. races.

CBS11 took the 6 p.m. gold in total viewers but Fox4 won a close three-way battle at that hour among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Last February’s 10 p.m. results were significantly skewed by NBC’s prime-time Winter Olympics telecasts, so we won’t include year-to-year comparisons for the late nighters. Otherwise the audience gains or losses from Feb. 2014 are in parentheses.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
Gannett 8 -- 229,530
CBS11 -- 182,110
Fox4 -- 152,980
NBC5 -- 149,910

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Gannett8 -- 91,810
Fox4 -- 84,750
NBC5 -- 67,880
CBS11 -- 44,120

Comments: Bolstered by the Olympics, NBC5 had decisive wins in both measurements last February. Bedeviled by mostly lousy NBC network lead-ins at 9 p.m., the Peacock sank badly this time. In contrast, Gannett8 overcame a lot of measly lead-ins from ABC to re-take control of the late night news Nielsens. CBS11 still has a serious 25-to-54 demographic problem, drawing less than half the 25-to-54-year-olds lured by frontrunner Gannett8.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 106,800 (minus 56,530)
Gannett8 -- 94,410 (plus 9,194)
NBC5 -- 86,990 (minus 33,732)
CBS11 -- 57,460 (minus 13,553)

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Fox4 -- 56,300 (minus 35,107)
NBC5 -- 35,660 (minus 22,231)
Gannett 8 -- 32,020 (minus 19,953)
CBS11 -- 29,210 (minus 1,259)

Comments: Gannett8 knocked NBC5 out of second place in total viewers and showed the only audience gains in that measurement while Fox4 and NBC5 both were way down from a year ago. On the downside, Gannett8 came perilously close to falling behind CBS11 in the 25-to-54 demographic. None of the four stations can be terribly happy about these year-to-year numbers. But CBS11 at least can glimpse a ray of sunshine during transplanted anchor Karen Borta’s first “sweeps” month as a morning co-anchor. The station lost a minimal amount of 25-to-54-year-olds compared to its rivals and has never been this close to moving out of its longstanding early morning basement.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 178,820 (plus 22,591)
Gannett8 -- 164,130 (plus 15,003)
NBC5 -- 156,490 (minus 21,043)
Fox4 -- 117,220 (minus 17,705)

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Fox4 -- 52,830 (minus 8,108)
Gannett8 -- 48,980 (minus 9,001)
NBC5 -- 48,280 (minus 12,658)
CBS11 -- 40,040 (plus 15,665)

Comments: CBS11 was the only station to register year-to-year gains in both ratings measurements while also vaulting from second place a year ago to take the total viewers crown this time. Fox4 replicated its outhouse to penthouse performance from a year ago, finishing last in total viewers and first with 25-to-54-year-olds. (In February 2014, Fox4 and NBC5 shared first place among 25-to-54-year-olds.) But Fox4 lost viewers from a year ago in both cases, as did the Peacock. Gannett8 climbed up a notch in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5, in contrast, fell from first to third in both races.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 139,260 (minus 2,766)
Gannett8 -- 126,610 (plus 20,090)
Fox4 -- 123,850 (plus 3,128)
CBS11 -- 117,510 (plus 32,294)

25-to-54-Year-Olds
NBC5 -- 43,960 (plus 1,303)
Fox4 -- 41,310 (minus 13,534)
Gannett8 -- 31,950 (minus 4,613)
CBS11 -- 30,600 (plus 3,178)

Comments: NBC5 kept its 2014 title in total viewers and dethroned Fox4 as the leader among 25-to-54-year-olds. As at 6 p.m., CBS11 was the only station to improve from a year ago in both measurements. Gannett8 moved up to second place in total viewers while barely holding off CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Feb. 25) -- business as usual, with Empire fueling another Fox/Fox4 sweep

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox’s Empire began with a bang Wednesday night, with Cookie telling her ex-husband Lucious, “You want Cookie’s nookie, you ditch the bitch.”

The pot as always kept stirring, to the tune of 411,466 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. That again made Empire the most-watched show of the night, in both total viewers and advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds (227,074).

Fox also won in both ratings measurements with its 7 p.m. hour of American Idol -- 292,908 total viewers and 113,537 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then put the finishing touches on the night with runaway wins in both total viewers (306,856) and 18-to-49-year-olds (132,460).

CBS countered with its first-time, same-night combo of 90-minute Survivor and Amazing Race season premieres.

Survivor had 181,324 total viewers from 7 to 8:30 p.m., tying NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura for second place in its opening hour before being edged from 8 to 8:30 p.m. by ABC’s Modern Family (202,246).

Amazing Race fell to 139,480 viewers from 8:30 to 10 p.m. It was beaten by the closing half-hour of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (202,246) and ran behind ABC’s runner-up Nashville (153,428) in the 9 p.m. hour.

Survivor also lost to Modern Family among 18-to-49-year-olds before Amazing Race ran fourth from 8:30 to 10 p.m. behind a mix of programming on Fox/Fox4, ABC and NBC.

Here are the local news derby results for the final weekday of the February “sweeps.” (Final sweeps results are coming later.)

Gannett8 ran a solid first at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 had a comfy win among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. and NBC5 took the 5 p.m. gold in that measurement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 24) -- even NCIS can't withstand The Voice

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A second two-hour edition of NBC’s The Voice edged CBS’ usually all-powerful NCIS in total viewers Tuesday night while otherwise dominating among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Voice drew 488,180 D-FW viewers in its first hour, with NCIS pulling in 453,310. The second half of The Voice then beat NCIS: New Orleans by a significantly wider margin -- 502,128 viewers to 355,674.

In the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic, The Voice crushed all comers with 176,613 viewers for its full two hours.

Fox4’s local newscast, enriched by heavy coverage of a snowy forecast for Wednesday morning, won the 9 p.m. hour with 341,726 total viewers and 129,306 in the 18-to-49 age range.

NBC’s one-hour Parks and Recreation series finale ran third at 9 p.m. in total viewers with 118,558 and moved up to second place among 18-to-49-year-olds (66,229). Both finishes were in the Big Four broadcast network arena. On cable, Fox Sports Southwest’s Dallas Mavericks-Toronto Raptors game was the 9 to 10 p.m. runner-up to Fox4’s news with 167,376 total viewers and 88,306 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter continued to crater with prime-time’s lowest scores (among the Big 4 broadcasters) in both total viewers (69,740) and 18-to-49-year-olds (28,384).The network’s other Tuesday night attractions -- Fresh Off the Boat, Repeat After Me and Forever -- also crashed to the No. 4 position in both ratings measurements.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results on the second-to-last weekday of the February “sweeps.”

Gannett8 overcame another stinko lead-in from Forever to win at 10 p.m. in total viewers. But Fox4 drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

D-FW TELEVISION NEWS NOTE -- It might only further fuel his ratings. But Bill O’Reilly now is being called a fabricator -- or more to the point an outright liar -- by longtime Gannett8 investigative reporter Byron Harris and former anchor Tracy Rowlett. It all has to do with O’Reilly’s Kennedy assassination-tied tale after Congress reopened an investigation of that very dark day in Dallas.

Both Harris and Rowlett were colleagues of O’Reilly in the late 1970s during his brief tenure at the Dallas-based TV station. In March 1977, O’Reilly claims to have been knocking on the door of a Russian emigre’s Palm Beach, Florida residence when he heard a “shotgun blast” from within. The man he was tracking, George de Mohrenschildt, had just committed suicide. He had been a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald’s who earlier had testified before the Warren Commission and was being called to re-testify before Congress.

A January 2013 piece by Jefferson Morley had already provided seemingly irrefutable evidence that O’Reilly in fact was in Dallas at the time of Mohrenschildt’s death. But O’Reilly had continued to repeat this tale, most recently on page 300 of his bestselling book, Killing Kennedy.

Harris and Rowlett, interviewed this week by the openly liberal watchdog site, Media Matters, are even blunter in their declarations that O’Reilly made the whole thing up. Says Rowlett: “O’Reilly’s a phony. There’s no other way to put it. He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots. He was in Dallas. He wasn’t traveling at that time.”

Says Harris: “He stole that article out of the newspaper. I guarantee Channel 8 didn’t send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story. It was broken by The Dallas Morning News.”

On Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, the host has vociferously defended himself against an earlier report, in Mother Jones Magazine, that he embellished his role in covering the 1982 Falklands War. He also has assailed “far left zealots” for smearing him.

Whether O’Reilly will be equally out front in defending himself on this newest charge is an open question that could be answered on Wednesday’s edition of “The Factor.”

Ironically, O’Reilly has been one of the least accusatory prominent news personalities when it comes to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ acknowledged misrepresentations of his journalistic exploits. Wiliams currently is serving a six-month unpaid suspension.

On Tuesday’s edition of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart told viewers that “no one’s watching him (O’Reilly) for the actual truth.” He also encouraged naysayers to “just move on.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Feb. 23) -- NBC back in tune with The Voice

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC almost tripled its ratings pleasure by saying goodbye to The Celebrity Apprentice and re-welcoming The Voice Monday night.

Prime-time’s pre-eminent talent competition, in which the judges star while the winners struggle to be heard from again, drew just shy of a half-million D-FW viewers (495,154) from 7 to 9 p.m. The previous Monday’s Celebrity Apprentice season finale had 174,350 viewers.

The Voice also dominated its time slot among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, luring 182,920 of ‘em. Celebrity Apprentice drew 72,537 viewers in this key demographic.

Monday’s big 9 p.m. winner, Fox4’s local newscast, had 327,778 total viewers and 132,460 in the 18-to-49 age range. NBC’s return of The Night Shift plummeted to fourth place at 9 p.m. in total viewers (146,454) while inching into third place with 18-to-49-year-olds (56,768) ahead of ABC’s competing Castle (53,615).

Meanwhile, the local newscasts enjoyed ratings inflations brought on by Monday’s “Arctic Blast” and accompanying icy roads.

Gannett8 won at 10 p.m. with 313,830 total viewers compared to the previous Monday’s 223,168. Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming), vaulting to 139,280 viewers after last week’s President’s Day haul of 56,305.

NBC5, which aims to be the most weather-centric of the four major news players, rolled up wins at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements. Fox4’s 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Good Day then took over with a pair of narrow victories over the Peacock, which preempted NBC’s Today show.

NBC5 and Gannett8 shared the 6 p.m. total viewers lead while Fox4 and CBS11 were close behind. The combined 997,282 viewers for the four stations were a big bump up from the 697,400 on President’s Day.

The 5 p.m. leader in total viewers was NBC5. But Fox4 won at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net