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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

Freeze!!! -- while we shoot you live: having an arctic blast with D-FW TV's storm troopers

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Intrepid CBS11 meteorologist Jeff Ray draws some “thunder sleet” during Monday morning’s heavy coverage of frozen North Texas. Photos: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
News directors love a good arctic blast. That’s because the ratings heat up when legions of reporters are sent out to face the cold, hard facts.

They warn against driving too fast and admonish drivers who do. They paw and scrape at the ice and snow to further illustrate what’s readily apparent. Monday morning brought another round of show, tell and shiver. “I am literally freezing,” Gannett8 reporter Brian Glenn declared.

Fox4, NBC5, Gannett8 and CBS11 all preempted or truncated regularly scheduled morning programming to bring viewers the latest news. Which of course bears repeating -- over and over and over again.

NBC5 also got a chance to debut its new “Texas Thunder Truck” amid the latest popular winter weather tagline -- “thunder sleet.” The station’s anchors took turns marveling at what a coincidence that was.

Your friendly content provider spent part of Monday morning freeze-framing a variety of hard-working reporters in the field. In pictures and captions, here’s our first fierce weather collage since December of 2013, when a far more serious winter onslaught felled thousands of innocent tree branches.

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Fox4’s Jenny Anchondo and Dan Godwin keep their heads & hats.

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Now why would you wanna go topless? Gannett8’s Philip Townsend and colleague Brian Glenn decided to keep their locks unlocked.

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Veteran NBC5 “Night Ranger” Scott Gordon joins in reindeer games.

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Ready for their frozen chosen closeups: Top row from left: CBS11 reporters Arezow Doost, Elizabeth Dinh, Jennifer Lindgren, Jack Fink. Bottom row from left: Joel Thomas, Gabriel Roxas, Stephanie Lucero.

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NBC5’s Chris Van Horne deftly executes the classic show-and-tell foot scraper maneuver before the elements strike again.

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Longtime Fox4 morning reporter Saul Garza gives viewers a finger.

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By all that is holy: Gannett8’s Pete Delkus tweeted this Sun. night.

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Primary Peacock colors for NBC5’s Ray Villeda and Julie Fine.

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Gannett8’s David Schechter must have drawn the long straw this time. He snuggled in station’s “Social Media Center” Monday after winning “Coldest Looking Reporter” award in December 2013.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Feb. 20-22) -- Oscars take a tumble

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Host Neil Patrick Harris: Who was he wearing? Photo: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The 87th annual Oscars took a significant dip in the D-FW ratings Sunday night despite frigid, stay-at-home weather.

Running from 7:30 to 11:12 p.m. on ABC and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the ceremony tiptoed past the 1 million viewer mark with an overall average of 1,004,256. Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, the Oscars averaged 428,917 viewers.

The 2014 Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, drew 1,164,613 total viewers and 547,126 in the 18-to-49 age range.

The Harris-hosted Oscars, his first such stint after two Emmy and four Tony outings, still outdrew the 2013 Oscars in total viewers. With Seth MacFarlane at the reigns, that edition had 922,483 D-FW viewers but nipped Sunday night’s latest ceremony among 18-to-49-year-olds with 430,569.

In recent D-FW ratings history, the lowest Oscar numbers by far came in 2009, when Hugh Jackman hosted. That one averaged just 677,580 total viewers and 291,176 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

(Your friendly content provider live-tweeted through out Sunday’s Oscar festivities. If you’d like to follow the Twitter thread, it’s right here.

Over on Fox Sports Southwest Sunday night, Amar’e Stoudemire’s debut as a Dallas Maverick had 132,506 total viewers and 59,922 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

The most-watched broadcast station attraction opposite the Oscars, NBC5’s weather-fueled 10 p.m. local newscast, drew 348,700 total viewers and 138,767 in the 18-to-49 age range. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast also did well with respective totals of 285,934 and 110,383 viewers.

But cable’s The Walking Dead, at 8 p.m. on AMC, ranked as Sunday’s overall runner-up among 18-to-49-year-olds with 170,305.

On Friday, CBS’ Blue Bloods again topped all prime-time programming with 258,038 total viewers. ABC’s Shark Tank and Fox4’s local news had the most 18-to-49-year-olds (85,153 apiece).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results for the 17th weekday of the February “sweeps,” which end on Wednesday.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Gannett8 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 notched another pair of 6 a.m. wins; the 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and NBC5 in the 25-to-54 measurement.

Gannett8 was tops in total viewers at 5 p.m. and shared the gold with NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 19) -- good night for all but NBC

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A crowded night of heavy hitters brought some good news for ABC, CBS and Fox while NBC’s totally revamped Thursday lineup continued to struggle. Yes, that even includes The Blacklist.

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory as usual led off with prime-time’s top numbers, drawing 432,388 D-FW viewers and 145,075 in the advertiser-prized 25-to-54-year-old demographic.

The network’s premiere of The Odd Couple then held off the second halves of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Fox’s American Idol to win from 7:30 to 8 p.m. with 278,960 total viewers. Odd Couple slipped to third with 18-to-49-year-olds while Grey’s led the way with 132,460.

CBS’ one-hour Two and a Half Men men series finale won at 8 p.m. with 244,090 total viewers. But the 18-to-49 crown went to ABC’s Scandal (97,768).

At 9 p.m., ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder held off Fox4’s local newscast to lead in total viewers with 265,012. HTGAWM also had the most 18-to-49-year-olds at that hour (110,383).

Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of the first-year series Backstrom, saddled with one of TV’s toughest time slots, managed to increase its 18-to-49-year-old audience for the third straight week. And in this case, that was good enough to outdraw NBC’s once high and mighty Blacklist for third place in the 8 to 9 p.m. slot. The score was 59,922 viewers to 50,461.

Blacklist currently is sandwiched between two first-year NBC bombs. The Slap at 7 p.m. and Allegiance at 9 p.m. Both ran distant fourths across the board. The Slap’s 22,077 viewers in the key 18-to-49 demographic ranked as the night’s lowest.

Over on TNT, the Dallas Mavericks put up decent numbers for their otherwise lackluster loss to Oklahoma City to start the second half of the NBA season. The Mavs had 146,454 total viewers and a solid percentage of 85,153 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Here are the local news derby results for the 16th weekday of the February “sweeps,” which end on Wednesday.

Gannett8 won big at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). The newscast was capped by a sendoff for longstanding sports reporter George Riba, who called it a night after a 37-and-a-half year career with the station.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and also ran first at 5 and 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and Gannett8 was tops in that measurement at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Feb. 18) -- more sugar Cookie(s) for Fox/Fox4

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox has one night of the week that ensures a very sunny start to the following day.

That would be Wednesday, where the freshman series Empire continues to be a full-blown smash paced by the out-loud performance of Taraji P. Henson as the scorned “Cookie” Lyons.

Airing in its usual 8 p.m. slot, Empire again ruled with 439,362 D-FW viewers and 214,458 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

The next closest competing attraction, hour two of CBS’ The Mentalist series finale, drew 285,934 total viewers. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Modern Family ran a very distant second with 85,153 viewers before the 8:30 to 9 p.m. portion of Mentalist took the runner-up spot with 53,615.

Fox’s American Idol won the 7 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements with 341,726 total viewers and 113,537 in the 18-to-49 age range. At 9 p.m., Fox4’s local newscast topped the field with respective totals of 244,090 and 97,768 viewers.

Here are the local news derby results for the 15th weekday of the February “sweeps,” which end after next Wednesday’s battles.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. competitions and tied NBC5 for the top spot in total viewers at 5 p.m. But the Peacock was alone in first among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and Gannett8 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Simply the best: A fond farewell to sports reporter George Riba

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Closing shot of George Riba for his last story on Gannett8. It aired on Wednesday’s 10 p.m. newscast. He’s standing in front of Fair Park Coliseum, where the Dallas Blackhawks hockey team used to play. Photos: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
George Riba’s final story for Gannett8 aired on Wednesday’s 10 p.m. newscast.

But as previously posted, his official last day at the Dallas-based station is Friday, Feb. 20th. And during Thursday’s 10 p.m. edition, the finest shoe leather TV sports reporter in the history of this market will be honored in full by sports anchor Dale Hansen and many others whose profiles may be higher than his.

“I grew up having some desire to anchor, but the longer I stayed in the business, the more I learned that reporting really was what I do best,” Riba says in an email interview. “I really enjoying going out on the street, meeting people and putting together stories. They’re always different, plus it gets you away from the office. Then the writing and editing is where the real fun comes in. In sports, we edit all of our own stuff. So that gives you full control over the final product.”

Riba has filled in as an anchor numerous times during a career that included short stints at KTVT-TV (CBS11) and KXAS-TV (NBC5) before he joined WFAA-TV (Gannett8) in September, 1977. He’s worked in D-FW television for nearly 42 years, the last 37 years and five months at Gannett8.

“When I have to anchor for a week at a time during peak vacation time, I start getting a little antsy to go outdoors,” he says. “Maybe that’s the farm boy in me and just needing to get out.”

He grew up on a farm in the Texas Hill Country and initially worked as a radio deejay before finding his true calling. It’s always been Riba’s view that a reporter should stay out of the way whenever possible. Or as the late Charles Kuralt used to counsel, “Don’t ride the tricycle. Keep yourself out of the story. The people who are watching it are not interested in you.”

“I have never felt like I should be part of the story, although these days they want more and more reporter involvement,” Riba says. “I’m sure that comes from covering news during my early days. For me, it was impossible to make a tragic incident a story about yourself. I always felt that if the story was interesting, then it should be able to carry itself without reporter interference.”

Riba has been to the gate thousands upon thousands of times, covering the Dallas Cowboys’ Super Bowl XXVII win in Pasadena; the Texas Rangers’ first journey to post-season play; and the Dallas Mavericks’ inaugural 1980-’81 season and their 2011 championship run. He even went to Japan in 1983 to cover SMU’s win over Houston in the Mirage Bowl.

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Riba reporting from 1983 Mirage Bowl festivities in Tokyo.

“But really, the stories that had the most impact on me were the human interest ones,” Riba says, spotlighting Duncanville High School basketball coach Sandra Meadows’ battle against cancer while her team rallied round her; the 2014 TCU baseball team adopting cancer-stricken little Micah Ahern; and Allen High School golfer Drew Miller, “who got sponsors to donate money for every birdie he made and then in turn donated the money to a charity in honor of a young kid who died of cancer.”

“Those are the ones you never forget,” Riba says. “I know that if it brings tears to my eyes while I’m editing the story, it’ll have an impact on the viewer at home.”

He’ll turn 66 in May, and his decision to retire is “really based on age,” Riba says. “I’m not checking out entirely. Hopefully I’ll be able to do something like voice-over work, commercials, part-time radio . . . Who knows? I’m wide open to anything that’s fun and hopefully less time-consuming.”

Through it all, he has continued to run. And at last count, that includes 29 marathons.

“I started running 41 years ago because I needed to lose some weight and felt like I needed more energy,” he says. “I eventually worked my way up to a marathon and then tried to do one a year because I figured it was a great way to keep me in shape. I ran a 3:01 (3 hours, one minute) in 1979. But of course, I weighed about 135 pounds back then. Now that was an awesome day!”

And yes -- wait for it -- Riba has been an awesome, generation-spanning sports reporter who never forgot how to be a nice guy as well. He leaves this particular scene in times when local newscast sports segments continue to shrink in both relevance and importance in the eyes of station consultants and news room managers. But Riba experienced all of the glory years and companion technology changes. D-FW will never see the likes of him again. In both duration and sustained excellence, he stands alone and on top. When you say George Riba, you’ve said it all.

Here’s the video of his final story, a travelogue through time, space and sports venues that couldn’t quite keep up with him.



Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Fox4 adds reporter Diana Zoga

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox4’s latest new reporter is Diana Zoga, who’s arriving from CBS affiliate KMOV-TV in St. Louis.

“Happy to announce I’m moving to my hometown and joining the team at KDFW (Fox4),” Zoga tweeted Wednesday. “I’ll miss STL & my wonderful friends here.”

Zoga was born in New York but grew up in Richardson and graduated from Plano East Senior High School in 1999. She joined KMOV in 2008 and is scheduled to start at Fox4 on March 16th after reporting weekdays and anchoring weekend morning newscasts for KMOV. Fox4 has hired her as a general assignment reporter.

Zoga’s TV career began in Austin, where the University of Texas grad was a part-time teenage an anchor-reporter at a low-power station. Before joining KMOV, she also worked at KXII-TV in Sherman, TX and KTUL-TV in Tulsa.

Zoga “has reported on a variety of issues and digs for the heart of a story,” Fox4 news director Robin Whitmeyer said in a publicity release.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Amy Vanderoef exiting Gannett8's Good Morning Texas

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Amy Vanderoef, a longstanding co-host of Dallas-based Gannett8’s Good Morning Texas, will be leaving the show early next month.

Her last day is March 6th, Vanderoef confirmed in a telephone interview Wednesday. She joined GMT in 2006, with Gary Cogill and Brenda Teele Jackson the other co-hosts back then.

“There’s no mud-slinging, no slammed doors,” Vanderoef said. “We just couldn’t come to terms on my contract so we decided to part ways. We’re both sad about it. I’m looking forward to whatever’s next. Sometimes you have to take the leap without a net. You can stay in your comfort zone, but sometimes you have to find the magic.”

Vanderoef continues to be represented by the Dallas-based Campbell Agency, and hopes to step up her voice-over and commercial work. She’s also with The Rodney Anderson Show (11 a.m. weekdays on News Talk Radio 1190 AM).

The former 2001 Miss Connecticut USA said she “left the door open” to occasionally freelance on GMT, which airs from 9 to 10 a.m. weekdays. The show’s holdover hosts are Paige Smith, Carrie McClure, Mike Castellucci and Shannon Powell Hart.

Gannett8 news director Carolyn Mungo did not return an earlier email asking for comment on Vanderoef’s departure.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., Feb. 16-17) -- ABC takes a bad beating

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The CBS lineup of NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans and Person of Interest as usual swept Tuesday’s total viewer ratings in D-FW.

Advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds mostly went elsewhere, though, with Fox’s Masterchef Junior winning the 7 p.m. hour before NBC’s Marry Me ran first from 8 to 8:30 p.m. The second half of NCIS: New Orleans then drew the most 18-to-49-year-olds in the 8:30 to 9 p.m. slot. But the Peacock took over again at 9 p.m. with Chicago Fire.

That left ABC in serious disrepair throughout prime-time. Fresh Off the Boat and the premiere of Repeat After Me managed third place finishes from 7 to 8 p.m. in total viewers by beating NBC’s competing pair of Parks and Recreation episodes in that show’s nearly concluded final season. But the two ABC shows fell to fifth place among 18-to-49-year-olds (trailing Fox, CBS, NBC and CW’s The Flash).

ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter ran fifth in its first half-hour before nipping NBC’s all but canceled About A Boy to place fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds from 8:30 to 9 p.m. ABC’s Countdown to the Oscars: 15 Movies That Changed American Cinema then dragged bottom with fourth place finishes in both ratings measurements.

The expensive Agent Carter drew just 12,615 viewers in the key 18-to-49 demographic. In comparison, CBS11’s syndicated 6:30 p.m. edition of Wheel of Fortune, oft-ridiculed for skewing north of Forest Lawn, had 34,692 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range. In total viewers, Agent Carter was obliterated in its 8 p.m. slot by the front-running NCIS: New Orleans. The score was 362,648 viewers to 55,792.

In Monday’s prime-time Nielsens, CBS won the first hour in total viewers with 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. CBS also took the total viewers gold with its first hour of a salute to Stevie Wonder before ABC’s Castle edged Stevie’s second hour.

ABC’s The Bachelor and NBC’s season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice fought a spirited battle for 7 to 9 p.m. supremacy among 18-to-49-year-olds. The Bachelor prevailed with 78,845 viewers to Celebrity Apprentice’s 72,537. AMC’s third episode of Better Call Saul won at 9 p.m. with 63,076 viewers in the 18-to-49 range That’s a very impressive percentage of its 83,688 total viewers.

Here are the local news derby results for the 13th and 14th weekdays of the February “sweeps.”

Monday -- Fox4 and CBS11 curiously took holiday exemptions on President’s Day, rubbing out the results for their 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. And NBC5 counted only its 10 p.m. news in the official sweeps results.

That gave Gannett8 uncontested wins at 6 a.m. and at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). The station also knocked off NBC5 in both measurements at 10 p.m.

Let’s look at what might have been, though. CBS11, in a tight fight with Gannett8 at 6 a.m. for third place with 25-to-54-year-olds, coughed up a strong performance in that demographic. Had it played for keeps on Monday, CBS11 would have beaten Gannett8 by a score of 38,524 to 26,671 viewers. Perhaps they’ve already held the management meeting on that one.

CBS11 also gave away wins in total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. And NBC5 would have been the first place station at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. But no.

It’s not as if many potential viewers are out vacationing or partying on President’s Day. Quite the opposite. Many more of them are at home. So the decisions by Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 remain puzzling. From this perspective at least.

Tuesday -- Gannett8 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. but Gannett8 was alone in first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions. And in the 25-to-54 demographic, Gannett8 had 32,597 viewers to CBS11’s 26,671 (11,583 short of CBS11’s President’s Day total).

The 6 p.m. golds were split between CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m., but Fox4 and CBS11 tied for the top spot in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Baby, it's cold outside -- so let's all lead Monday's 10 p.m. D-FW newscasts with these urgent "breaking" developments

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CBS11 anchors Kaley O’Kelley and Doug Dunbar came in from the cold after opening Monday’s 10 p.m. newscast in their winter coats. Photos: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Once upon a time, “If It Bleeds It Leads” held the balance of power in many a local TV news room.

That seems so quaint now. Look, up in the sky. Whether anything is really happening or not, weather is the go-to top story almost everywhere you look.

On D-FW’s Monday 10 p.m. newscasts, a winter temperature dip led the parade for all four major TV news providers even though meteorologists told viewers to expect basically nothing in terms of sleet, ice, snow, etc. It was akin to leading the news with, “There were no major traffic accidents in our viewing area today, but we now take you live to a fender bender in Euless.”

Station consultants preach that weather is virtually the only remaining catnip in times when people already know the news of the day via means other than regularly scheduled newscasts. But with the weather you get colorful, state-of-the-art maps, cool video on some occasions and American Meteorological Society-approved seers seeing into the future. The weather affects virtually everyone. And it increasingly dominates the TV news landscapes while sports anchors increasingly risk being reduced to Misfit Toys.

The big buildups begin immediately. On CBS11, anchors Doug Dunbar and Kaley O’Kelley kicked off Monday’s 10 p.m. newscast by standing out in the cold next to a TV monitor. They had their winter coats on because, as Dunbar put it, “Hey, everybody, it’s a chilly night outside. And another dose of cold weather settling in for this night, as we’ve got temperatures that are dropping and dropping fast.”

Actually, they had already pretty much dropped. But the big hook here was a scant chance of snow “dustings” in West Texas and a handful of snow “flurries” in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. CBS11 meteorologist Jeff Jamison, subbing for Larry Mowry and leading off the 10 p.m. newscast, told viewers there could be a “little bit of snow in the area.” But really, what were the chances? Jamison said there was a 95 percent probability of “seeing nothing at all.” Still, you’ve got to leave them wanting more. So a printed tease -- “A WARM-UP. THEN MORE SNOW?” -- was deployed for Jamison’s regularly scheduled, middle-of-the-newscast segment

Over on Fox4, anchor Clarice Tinsley began the 10 p.m. news by declaring, “Roller coast weather forces North Texans to bundle up against FREEZING temperatures. There may be relief soon, but for now . . .” Her voice then trailed off to meteorologist Dan Henry, who said up-top, “Let’s talk a little bit more about those flurries. The best chance of seeing those will be for areas west of Dallas and Fort Worth . . . They’re gonna have a hard time pushing eastward into the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to a lot of dry air that those flurries will be falling through.”

Later, in his regular weather segment, Henry reassured the populace that “if you’ve got a nice warm jacket I think you’re going to be OK first thing tomorrow morning.”

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NBC5’s weather map basically promised a whole lot of nothing.

NBC5, whose news director, Susan Tully, admittedly is a maniac for weather, had her anchors doing the usual drill Monday night.

Brian Curtis and Meredith Land first teased stories about the “search for a serial robber,” an ATM deposit gone “horribly wrong” and “life or death surgery” at Baylor Medical Center, with “the miracle unfolding one Tweet at a time.”

Curtis then used two words embedded in his top-of-the-news vocabulary, “But first,” he said -- leaving no doubt where he was headed -- “freezing temperatures and snow.”

“You are looking live at Dallas tonight, where temperatures will be dipping below freezing,” Land added before the station was off and running to the “Weather Expert” desk.

Chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell kept a lid on expectations. “We may see a snow flake or two, but it is not going to be any big deal around here,” he said. No problems for the morning drive to work or school either, he added.

Mitchell repeated the same information during his regularly scheduled segment. And with nothing really going on, there was no urgent need for NBC5 to clear out additional space for him at the start of the news. But that’s like telling a dog he really doesn’t need that extra treat.

Gannett8 also fired up a few news teases at the top of Monday’s 10 p.m. edition before co-anchor Cynthia Izaguirre stood next to weathercaster Pete Delkus and told viewers, “We begin in the Weather Center tonight. And Pete, a VERY cold night ahead.”

Delkus likewise told viewers not to expect much of anything. But yeah, it was going to be pretty cold, which amounts to B-R-R-R-eaking news in today’s local TV news climate.

There’s a weather controversy brewing, though, and this will bear close watching. All four weathercasters predicted gradual upticks in temperatures during the week, with a very nice, rain-less/snow-less Saturday looming. But Fox4’s Henry predicted a high of 68 on that day while NBC’s Mitchell went with 70, Gannett8’s Delkus settled on 71 and CBS11’s Jamison went all the way up to 73.

That’s a freaking 5-degree swing!!! How are we supposed to make plans under such circumstances? Who are we supposed to believe?

Believe this. Over-hyped top-of-the-news weather coverage is here to stay. Monday night’s festivities were all too typical before Tuesday dawned bright, clear and a bit nippy in D-FW. The fault usually is not in our stars -- or with our star meteorologists. But they’re happy to get the extra exposure while their news room bosses scheme and dream of new ways to make the weather an urgent breaking story.

AND IN OTHER NEWS -- Fox4’s Henry dutifully delivered his lead weather story Monday before throwing it back to anchor Tinsley for a report on the “American Sniper” trial. But she was nowhere near ready. Instead, viewers saw Tinsley audibly clomping past a camera and back to the anchor desk. She then got back to reading the TelePrompTer after a seeming eternity. And here I thought I’d seen everything in local TV news. Here’s a freeze-frame of how it looked:

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Feb. 13-15) -- NBC's live from New York thumps TNT's live from New York

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Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake open SNL’s three-and-a-half-hour 40th anniversary special Sunday night. Timberlake was allowed to say “dick in a box” twice in early prime-time after it was censored to “junk” in original 2006 short film and repeats. Photo: Ed Bark


By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
No contest. NBC’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special from Rockefeller Center blew out TNT’s NBA All-Star game at nearby Madison Square Garden.

Running from 7 to 10:30 p.m., SNL’s 40th dominated with an average 516,076 D-FW viewers; 236,535 of them were in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

TNT’s competing All-Star game drew 139,480 total viewers and 78,845 in the 18-to-49 age range.

NBC’s 6 to 7 p.m. SNL red carpet show also won its time slot with 251,064 total viewers and 78,845 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Just about all of SNL’s prominent surviving cast members appeared on the special, with a few notable exceptions. Among the missing: Dennis Miller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nora Dunn, Victoria Jackson and short-timers Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller, Randy Quaid and Sarah Silverman.

Cheri Oteri, Julia Sweeney and Al Franken, now a U.S. senator from Minnesota, were listed as confirmed attendees but did not participate in any of the sketches. Eddie Murphy appeared after a long estrangement to received a hero’s welcome from Chris Rock. He spoke briefly on stage but did not join in any of reindeer games.

As for Paul McCartney’s voice on “Maybe I’m Amazed,” I at first thought his microphone failed him. Maybe that’s the case or maybe his high octave vocal shorted out after a full concert the previous night in New York. Your friendly content provider live-tweeted throughout the SNL special. And if you want to take a look at the string of ‘em, here they are.

On Saturday night, the NBA All-Star game’s preliminary activities on TNT, including the slam dunk and three-point shooting contest, pulled in 139,480 total viewers and 88,306 in the 18-to-49 age range. So yes, the slam dunk, etc. drew more 18-to-49-year-olds than the game itself Sunday night.

Also on Saturday night, NBC re-showed the first ever Saturday Night Live from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. It had 174,350 total viewers; 63,076 were 18-to-49ers.

Friday’s prime-time Nielsens again were led in total viewers by CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Blue Bloods (265,012). ABC’s 8 to 10 p.m. duo of Shark Tank and 20/20 topped the 18-to-49 demographic with 66,230 viewers apiece.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results for the 12th weekday of the February “sweeps.”

Gannett8 stayed in command at 10 p.m. with dominant wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Gannett8 also made a strong showing at 6 a.m., winning in total viewers and tying Fox4 for first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 had the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 and 6 p.m. Among total viewers, the Peacock and Fox4 tied for the top spot at 5 p.m. while the 6 p.m. golds were shared by NBC5 and CBS11.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 12) -- ABC nearly sweeps while NBC weeps

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC added the last building block to its rebuilt Thursday night lineup with the premiere of The Slap.

It was slapped silly in the D-FW ratings before The Blacklist and NBC’s second episode of Allegiance likewise met with viewer resistance.

ABC’s Shonda Rhimes-produced trio of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder were the prime beneficiaries, although Fox’s American Idol also made some noise at 7 p.m.

Idol won prime-time’s opening hour with 299,882 viewers, besting CBS’ competing comedy combo of a Big Bang Theory rerun (265,012 viewers) and a new episode of Mom (also 265,012 viewers). Grey’s Anatomy ran close behind with 244,090 viewers while The Slap placed fifth with 76,714 viewers. The CW’s Vampire Diaries took the No. 4 spot with 83,688 viewers.

At 8 p.m., Scandal edged The Blacklist in total viewers by a score of 230,142 to 223,168. How to Get Away with Murder then comfortably won the 9 p.m. hour with 237,116 viewers, besting Fox4’s runner-up local newscast (174,350).

ABC won across the board among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, with Grey’s Anatomy making the night’s biggest haul (119,844). The Slap likewise finished fifth in this key demographic, virtually dooming it from the start. It wasn’t much better for the Peacock’s Allegiance, which ran fourth in total viewers at 9 p.m. and moved up to third among 18-to-49-year-olds ahead of CBS’ Elementary.

Fox’s new Backstrom likewise had a tough night in the 8 p.m. hour, placing fourth in total viewers and beating only a second repeat of Big Bang among 18-to-49-year-olds. Still, it slightly increased its audience in both measurements compared to last week’s episode.

Even with all these would-be heavy hitters in prime-time, Thursday’s most watched TV attraction was CBS11’s 6:30 p.m. edition of Wheel of Fortune with 320,804 total viewers. That equalled the total audience for competing rag mags Access Hollywood, Extra and Entertainment Tonight.

In the dinner hour network newscast ratings, NBC’s Nightly News without Brian Williams and with Lester Holt won in both total viewers and among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Here are the local news derby results for the 11th weekday of the February “sweeps.”

Gannett8 scored big at 10 p.m. with wins in both the total viewers and 25-to-54-year-old measurements.

Fox4 had twin wins at 6 a.m. with Gannett8 continuing to make a strong push for second place in total viewers while still striving to hold off CBS11 to finish third with 25-to-54-year-olds.

For whatever reason, Gannett8’s 25-to-54 ratings continue to take a big hit. The X-factor in all of this is Karen Borta’s presence on CBS11’s waker-upper after nearly two decades as a P.M. anchor. Could she be making that big a difference in her station’s historically pitiful 25-to-54 performance in the early morns?

On Thursday, Gannett8 bludgeoned CBS11 at 6 a.m. in the total viewers measurement -- 97,636 to 45,331. But among 25-to-54-year-olds, Gannett8 inched by with 24,003 to CBS11’s 21,929. The two stations continue to run neck-and-neck in the 25-to-54 demographic after CBS11 won three of the previous five face-offs.

The early evening newscast ratings were dominated by two stations. NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. and Gannett8 swept the 6 p.m. competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Feb. 11) -- Empire ignites another Fox/Fox4 sweep

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Still an unstoppable force, Empire again put Fox/Fox4 high atop Wednesday’s prime-time ratings.

American Idol set the table at 7 p.m., racking up 334,752 D-FW viewers while also rolling to another win among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds with 122,998.

Empire then ran up those scores with respective totals of 397,518 and 176,613 viewers.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast easily had enough juice to close out prime-time on a winning note. The news drew 271,986 total viewers and 100,922 in the 18-to-49 age range.

CBS pulled up second in total viewers with its regular crime time lineup of The Mentalist, Criminal Minds and Stalker. The silver medals among 18-to-49-year-olds went to ABC’s The Middle, The Goldbergs and Modern Family before CBS took over second place with the second half of Criminal Minds and Stalker.

NBC’s leadoff hitter, The Mysteries of Laura, was prime-time’s biggest loser in the key 18-to-49 demographic. It ran fifth from 7 to 8 p.m. behind Fox, ABC, CBS and Arrow on The CW.

In the network evening newscast Nielsens, NBC’s Nightly News without Brian Williams ran second in total viewers behind ABC’s World News and third among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Fox4’s local 5:30 p.m. newscast also beat Nightly News in the 25-to-54 measurement. Lester Holt is now helming NBC’s flagship newscast following the six-month unpaid suspension of Williams.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results at the halfway point of the 20-weekday February “sweeps.”

Fox4 and Gannett8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. but Fox4 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 logged twin wins at 6 a.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

The Peacock and Gannett8 tied for the most viewers at 6 p.m. while Gannett8 won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 10) -- CBS again makes crime pay off -- for the most part

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS retained its strong grip on Tuesday nights while ABC’s three first-year series had clammy, weak handshakes.

The crime-time lineup of NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans and Person of Interest again won from 7 to 10 p.m. with respective D-FW viewer totals of 404,492; 334,752 and 209,220.

NCIS also won its 7 p.m. hour among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds before the New Orleans spinoff lost from 8 to 8:30 p.m. to Fox’s New Girl but vaulted back to the top from 8:30 to 9 p.m.

NBC’s Chicago Fire narrowly won the 9 p.m. hour in the 18-to-49 realm, with Person of Interest and Fox4’s local newscast close behind.

ABC’s back-to-back episodes of Fresh Off the Boat for the most part capsized. The 7 p.m. half-hour tied NBC’s competing Parks & Recreation for third place in total viewers before placing third outright from 7:30 to 8 p.m. opposite another episode of Parks & Rec. But Boat logged two fourth place finishes among 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC’s 8 to 10 p.m. offerings, Marvel’s Agent Carter and Forever, ran distant fourths across the board.

The NBC Nightly News, in its second edition with interim anchor Lester Holt, chalked up a first place finish in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (the main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results for the ninth weekday of the February “sweeps.”

CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Gannett8 had the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds while CBS11 fell well behind to fourth.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added a 5 p.m. win in total viewers.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. NBC5 ran first at both 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Feb. 9) -- CBS and The Bachelor are top scorers

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS led in total viewers from start to stop Monday night, but ABC’s The Bachelor came up roses among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

2 Broke Girls fired up with 223,168 D-FW viewers before Mike & Molly (216,194), Scorpion (313,830) and NCIS: Los Angeles (251,064) likewise won their time slots.

In the 18-to-49 measurement, The Bachelor averaged 104,075 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., winning outright save for a first-place tie with 2 Broke Girls in the 7 to 7:30 p.m. slot.

Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles then shared first place in the final hour of prime-time with 50,461 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range.

AMC’s second episode of Better Call Saul -- and its first in the series’ regular 9 p.m. Monday slot -- had 76,714 total viewers and 40,999 in the 18-to-49 demographic. That put it fourth in both measurements behind Fox4’s news, NCIS: L.A. and ABC’s Castle.

Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s State of Affairs continued their struggles. Hollow ran fourth in both ratings measurements at 8 p.m. among the Big Four broadcast networks. It was the same story for State of Affairs at 9 p.m. (The Katherine Heigl spy series also trailed Better Call Saul.)

The Dallas Mavericks could use a ratings pick-me-up, too. Monday’s lopsided home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (both teams had injuries to key players) drew 90,662 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest, with 40,999 in the 18-to-49 range.

Monday’s NBC Nightly News without Brian Williams and with substitute Lester Holt ran a close second in total viewers to ABC’s World News Tonight. The score was 167,376 viewers to 153,428. Last week’s Nightly News with Brian Williams won all five Monday through Friday face-offs with World News and the CBS Evening News.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results for the eighth day of the February “sweeps.”

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

The two stations tied at 6 a.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

CBS11 broke through with another 6 p.m. win in total viewers while Fox4 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 was tops in total viewers at 5 p.m., giving each station at least one trip to the winner’s circle. The Peacock and Fox4 tied for the 25-to-54 lead.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Feb. 6-8) --elongated Grammys tail off but still win from start to stop

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Oscar-esque in length, the 57th annual Grammy Awards were the usual big plus for CBS Sunday night.

Still, the audience fell off as the long night wore on and “Music’s Biggest Night” stretched eight minutes beyond its scheduled 10:30 p.m. stop time.

The Grammys overall averaged 627,660 D-FW viewers on CBS, with a peak audience of 739,244 between 7:45 and 8 p.m. The final minutes of the show wilted to 446,336 viewers.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, the Grammys averaged 280,688 viewers.

Sunday night also marked the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead for its latest cycle of new episodes and the premiere of the much-awaited Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul.

Dead drew 334,752 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour while the following Saul had 195,272. The Grammys in comparison had 711,348 viewers from 8 to 9 p.m. and 606,738 from 9 to 10 p.m.

Dead provided much more resistance among 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing an eye-popping 249,150 viewers (far more than 50 percent) in this key demographic. The Grammys still won with 318,534 viewers in that hour.

Better Call Saul had 113,537 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range while that portion of the Grammys drew 271,227 from 9 to 10 p.m.

ABC’s “network television premiere” of The Hunger Games lured 104,610 total viewers directly opposite the Grammys and AMC’s one-two punch. The movie’s 18-to-49 haul was 40,999 viewers.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetter, CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Blue Bloods, had 306,856 total viewers. Bloods uncommonly also was Friday’s biggest draw among 18-to-49-year-olds, with 69,384.

ABC’s 7:30 p.m. new episode of Cristela had a very rough night in the 18-to-49 demographic, ranking as prime-time’s lowest scorer among the Big Four broadcast networks with just 15,769 viewers.

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers for the seventh weekday of the February “sweeps.”

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. and tied Gannett8 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The 6 a.m. golds were split between Gannett8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 age range.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. And in a somewhat shocking development, CBS11 led at both hours among 25-to-54-year-olds. That’s an extreme rarity.

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"Morning people come in as many flavors as sunrises do"

By ED BARK
D-FW’s Gannett8 has been on a roller coast ride of late with its early morning Daybreak program.

The upside: Daybreak so far is putting up a strong fight for second place during the ongoing February “sweeps” ratings period, which began on Thursday, Jan. 29th and ends on Wednesday, Feb. 25th. NBC5 is the other combatant while defending champ Fox4 remains on top in total viewers.

The potential pothole: Daybreak also is trying to avoid the considerable embarrassment of falling to fourth place among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Its surprise rival in this battle is CBS11, which has been a slumbering Rip Van Winkle in the early morning ratings for as long as anyone can remember. But as of this writing, CBS11 and newly transplanted co-anchor Karen Borta are making a race of it.

Gannett8’s latest promotional campaign for Daybreak positions it as the “Official Show of Morning People,” with the hashtag #IAMUP. Before that tagline hits the screen, a gentle but firm male voiceover goes the full Rod McKuen route, beginning with “Morning people come in as many flavors as sunrises do.” McKuen was known for being more than a little sappy, but sold tons of album in his day.

A collection of mostly smiley, happy morning peeps are shown before the Daybreak anchor team of Ron Corning and Alexa Conomos comes briefly into view. There’s also a fleeting glimpse of meteorologist Greg Fields. But Daybreak’s traffic anchor, uniformed “Corporal Nick” Bristow, does not make the cut.

The spot is somewhat generic, with no Texas flavor whatsoever. But it’s also nicely produced and goes down easy. Whether the new campaign is dynamic enough to make any difference is an open question in times when CBS11 is selling Borta as a homey Texas gal with firmly planted roots. Sort of a Dale Evans without the buckskin fringe.

Here’s the Daybreak “Morning People” promo.



Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 5) -- Blacklist & Scandal fight to a draw

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s big move of The Blacklist from Mondays to Thursdays paid mixed dividends in its first face-off with ABC’s potent Scandal.

In total D-FW viewers, Blacklist won the 8 p.m. hour with 306,856 while Scandal ran second with 251,064.

The tables were turned with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, though. Scandal took the top spot with 126,152, followed by Blacklist’s 100,922.

Scandal benefited from a much bigger lead-in from ABC’s new episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Blacklist had to build off a Blacklist repeat that flopped big-time in the 18-to-49 demographic. Grey’s drew 104,075 viewers in that key demographic; the Blacklist rerun had just 18,923 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range, finishing a distant fourth.

NBC’s 9 p.m. premiere of the new drama series Allegiance drew 153,428 total viewers to tie Fox4’s local newscast for third place. ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder won the hour with 188,298 viewers, edging CBS’ Elementary (174,350).

Murder also ran first at 9 p.m. among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Fox4’s news moving up to second place and Allegiance dipping to fourth.

The 7 to 8 p.m. winners were split. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory won the first half-hour in both ratings measurements. Fox’s American Idol had the most total viewers from 7:30 to 8 p.m. but ran second among 18-to-49-year-olds behind Grey’s Anatomy.

Facing tougher competition, Fox’s third episode of Backstrom fell out of contention in the 8 p.m. hour, running fourth across the board. The quirky Rainn Wilson cop series drew just 97,636 total viewers.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results for the sixth weekday of the February “sweeps.”

Gannett8 remained in control at 10 p.m., winning in both total viewers and among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 notched another pair of wins at 6 a.m., where some weird numbers otherwise are popping up. Gannett8 continues to give NBC5 a serious battle for second place in total viewers, outdrawing the Peacock by a score of 97,636 to 83,688 in Thursday’s Nielsens. But the bottom keeps dropping out for Gannett8 in the 25-to-54 measurement. CBS11, an early morning doormat for as long as anyone can remember, jumped to second place in that key demographic with 38,524 viewers while Gannett8 plunged to fourth with 26,671.

Through the first six weekdays of the February sweeps, CBS11 has beaten Gannett8 twice among 25-to-54-year-olds while the two stations have tied once. CBS11 otherwise has run fourth on all six days in total viewers.

At 6 p.m., CBS11 won in total viewers and tied Gannett8 for first place with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 and CBS11 shared the top spot in total viewers at 5 p.m., but the Peacock had first place to itself among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Feb. 4) -- Empire remains in power

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox’s Empire, still the phenomenon of the season, drove its network and Fox4 to another Wednesday prime-time sweep.

American Idol started the night strong with a time slot-winning 306,856 D-FW viewers before Empire upped that total to 348,700. Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast then held off CBS’ competing Stalker to win that hour with 237,116 viewers.

Idol, Empire and Fox4’s news likewise won among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. Idol got the ball rolling with 126,152 before Empire (170,305) and Fox4’s news (81,999) took charge.

Wednesday also housed the double premiere of ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat. The 7:30 p.m. episode ran third in its time slot with 139,480 total viewers, edging the second half of NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura. At 8:30 p.m., a second new episode of Boat sunk to 111,584 viewers to finish fourth among the Big Four broadcast networks.

The 7:30 p.m. episode of Boat also ran third with 18-to-49-year-olds before the 8:30 p.m. half-hour fell to fifth place behind Empire, Criminal Minds, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and The CW’s The 100.

The 9 p.m. return of ABC’s Nashville edged NBC’s competing Chicago PD for third place in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results on the fifth weekday of the February “sweeps.”

CBS11 nipped Gannett8 for first place at 10 p.m. in total viewers but drooped to fourth among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Gannett8 won that race by a fairly comfy margin over NBC5.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 remained strong at 5 p.m. with its third straight pair of twin wins.

The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 3) -- NCIS factor

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NCIS and its newest CBS offshoot again set the prime-time pace Tuesday with the two biggest viewer hauls.

The 7 p.m. hour as usual was dominated by the Mark Harmon-led mothership, with NCIS drawing 460,284 D-FW viewers to more than double the audience of its next closest time slot competitor, Fox’s Masterchef Junior (174,350).

NCIS: New Orleans then won at 8 p.m. with 390,544 viewers before CBS’ Person of Interest had enough juice to run first at 9 p.m. with 216,194 viewers.

NCIS and its partner in military crime also topped their time slots among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. But Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast broke through at that hour, knocking Person of Interest into second place.

Also of note: The CW’s 7 p.m. episode of The Flash drew 76,714 total viewers to easily beat NBC’s competing pair of Parks and Recreation episodes. And among 18-to-49-year-olds, The Flash moved up to third place, ahead of both P&R and ABC’s 7 p.m. plug-in episode of Shark Tank.

ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter continued to struggle in the 18-to-49 demographic, running fourth among the Big Four broadcast networks from 8 to 9 p.m. In the total viewers measurement, it outdrew only NBC’s competing Marry Me and About a Boy.

Forever, also a first-year ABC series, likewise tanked with fourth place finishes at 9 p.m. in both ratings realms. Its 15,769 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range were the lowest of any prime-time program on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC or The CW.

On the ratings upside, CBS11’s 6:30 p.m. episodes of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune continue to roll over the competition. The 369,622 total viewers for Tuesday’s show were far more than any prime-time program drew on ABC, Fox, NBC or The CW.

Gannett8, then owned by Belo Corp., willingly coughed up Wheel in fall 2005 after an 18-year run. The station’s stated goal was to draw a revenue-enhancing younger audience with Entertainment Tonight. On Tuesday, Wheel had almost three times more 18-to-49-year-old viewers than E). That doesn’t happen every day. But Wheel always beats ET, Access Hollywood and Extra in total viewers. And the eternally spinning game show greatly aids CBS11’s 6 p.m. newscasts, even if they’re primarily used in some homes as warmups for Pat and Vanna.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results on the fourth weekday of the February “sweeps.”

Gannett8 overcame a very lousy lead-in from ABC’s Forever to win in total viewers at 10 p.m. Fox4 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. competitions while NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

The 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Feb. 2) -- gold medals for CBS/NBC/Fox4

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’ regular Monday night lineup won from start to stop in total viewers while NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local news scored biggest with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

2 Broke Girls led off with 216,194 D-FW viewers, edging ABC’s first half-hour of The Bachelor (209,220). CBS then had an easier time winning the rest of the night with Mike & Molly (237,116 viewers), Scorpion (237,116) and NCIS: Los Angeles (216,194).

Rival networks reigned in the key 18-to-49 demographic, though. Celebrity Apprentice won its entire two hours with 94,614 viewers in the 18-to-49 realm before Fox4’s 9 p.m. news took that hour with 85,153 viewers.

Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the Dallas Mavericks are still having problems gaining traction. The Mavs’ home win over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves had 83,688 total viewers and 28,384 in the 18-to-49 measurement.

Here are the local news derby results for the third weekday of the February “sweeps” ratings period.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 dominated among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also rang up twin wins at 6 a.m. while NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m.

Gannett8 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m., with the Peacock running first among 25-to-54-year-olds.

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Talking points in D-FW television news

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Johnny Archer, Amanda Guerra, Remeisha Shade, Newy Scruggs.

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Extenuating circumstances came into play. But even so, Saturday’s 10 p.m. newscast on NBC5 may have been a first for a D-FW English language TV station.

Someone out there might remember this happening before. But in my 35 years of covering TV in this market, I can’t recall ever seeing all four anchor posts filled by minorities.

Specifically, news anchors Johnny Archer and Amanda Guerra were accompanied by meteorologist Remeisha Shade and sports anchor Newy Scruggs on Saturday’s NBC5 late nighter.

Archer was filling in for regular weekend P.M. anchor Kevin Cokely. Scruggs, the longtime head sports guy at NBC5, usually doesn’t work on Saturdays. But there he was from Arizona as the station’s Super Bowl XLIX point man -- even if was only because NBC telecast the game on Sunday.

I’m not making a huge deal of this. But it seems to be worth noting as a possible history-maker in D-FW.

Also for the record: NBC5’s Saturday 10 p.m. newscast finished a solid second in total D-FW viewers, trailing competitor Gannett8 by a score of 188,298 viewers to 174,350. And NBC5 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) by a margin of 88,902 viewers to 80,012.

***There’s been no announced final decision yet and the station isn’t commenting. But the long search for an early morning weekday news co-anchor at CBS11 appears to have boiled down to two major male contenders, one of whom would join the recently transplanted Karen Borta.

Several sources at the station say that Morgan Chesky of Oklahoma City’s KOCO-TV and Rob Collins of Kansas City’s WDAF-TV are the frontrunners for the position. Both have Texas ties and have interviewed/auditioned at CBS11 .

Chesky, who has been with KOCO since January 2013, is a Sam Houston State University graduate who grew up in Kerrville, TX and previously worked at KVUE-TV in Austin and KLTV-TV in Tyler.

Collins, who joined WDAF in September of 2012, is a Texas A&M graduate who earlier worked at KXII-TV in Sherman.

Both Chesky and Collins have been weekend anchors at their current stations.

***The Fort Worth Police Officers Association’s Facebook page has lashed CBS11 for naming and picturing an officer who was shot early Thursday night. Why? Because the station publicized that information, first via a Tweet by reporter Arezow Doost, before the FWPOA gave permission. “The media was asked to respect the wishes of the family until a decision was made to release his information,” says the FWPOA. “The unprofessionalism by CBS11 News Director Mike Garber and reporter Arezow Doost will NOT be tolerated in regards to the request for privacy of an officer who is shot in the line of duty.”

The comments quickly piled up into the thousands, with an overwhelming majority sharply criticizing CBS11. Suggested reprisals are a boycott of the station and its advertisers, the firings of Garber and Doost, etc. You can scroll and scroll some more via the above link provided. Sources at CBS11 say the station’s switchboard has been flooded with complaints.

The FWPOA also praised rival news organizations for agreeing to withhold the officer’s identity until being given permission to publicize it.

Here’s the deal, though. Officer Shane Drake was shot shortly before 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29th. Doost didn’t post his name and picture until late the following morning, just before CBS11’s 11 a.m. newscast. The station reportedly had been tipped that rival stations were ready to publicize his name on their noon newscasts.

The officer’s next of kin obviously knew of his medical status by then. In fact, Drake already had been operated on, with Doost tweeting, “Sgt. Shane Drake was shot at least once in his abdomen. He had to undergo surgery and expected to be ok.”

People can get out their pitchforks if they like. But from this perspective, roughly 16 hours seems to be ample time to notify the officer’s immediate family members. This was, after all, a police officer shooting. And Officer Drake wasn’t on his death bed. On the contrary he was on the mend.

These can be tough calls to make. But if I always waited for D-FW television station managements to officially confirm personnel changes -- particularly firings -- I’d still be waiting to this day for ousters that happened years ago.

It should also be noted that CBS11 generally has been this market’s most forthcoming station in terms of confirming personnel moves. So at least they’re not being entirely hypocritical on that score.

Rival stations also have previously put out information before official bodies gave their blessings. Sometimes you have to cut bait and go with what you know if it’s based on very solid information. In this case, CBS11 waited an appreciable length of time before publicizing the officer’s name and also picturing him. I’m not sure where the harm was at that point. But I am sure that commenters love to pile on -- oftentimes in grammatically challenged fashion.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 30-Feb. 1) -- Super duper XLIX edition

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Katy Perry didn’t jump the shark during halftime show. Photo: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Improbable, controversial finish: check.

Electrifying halftime show: check.

Great commercials: Meh.

The New England Patriot’s 28-24 Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks blasted past last year’s one-sided game while falling just short of the D-FW viewership for the 2011 Super Bowl at Jerry’s Palace.

Airing on NBC and running from 5:30 to 9:07 p.m., the game averaged 2,740,782 viewers with a peak audience of 2,915,132 between 8:45 and 9 p.m. The Green Bay Packers’ win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 North Texas Supie drew 2,791,057 viewers with a high of 3,068,085.

Last year’s Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox, in which the Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos, fell well short of both games’ numbers with an average of 2,591,975 viewers and a peak crowd of 2,769,507.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Sunday’s Supie averaged 1,258,366 viewers, compared to last year’s 1,142,125.

The ultra-colorful, amazingly choreographed Katy Perry halftime show fired up at 7:12 p.m. and ran until 7:24 p.m. after the game’s first half ended at 7:01 p.m. From 7 to 7:30 p.m. (Nielsen measures in 15-minute increments), the D-FW audience was 2,775,652 viewers with 1,258,366 in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. In each case, the audience bumped up slightly from the 6:45 to 7 p.m. segment of game action.

NBC’s post-Super Bowl XLIX attraction, a new episode of The Blacklist, didn’t get on the air until 9:38 p.m. It averaged roughly 648,582 total viewers, although measurements are somewhat imprecise because the 9:30 to 9:45 segment was shared with the Super Bowl post-game show.

Opposite the Super Bowl, Fox’s repeats of The Simpsons and Family Guy, and ABC’s first of two America’s Funniest Home Videos reruns put up the best fights. Each averaged 48,818 total viewers.

On Saturday night, NBC’s two-hour live NFL Honors special drew just 118,558 total viewers and was beaten in the 9 p.m. hour by Fox4’s local newscast (139,480 viewers). Among 18-to-49-year-olds, NFL Honors lost its first hour to ABC’s second half of Despicable Me.

Friday’s prime-time Nielsens were paced by CBS’ Blue Bloods in total viewers (223,168) and ABC’s 20/20 in the 18-to-49 realm (63,076).

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers on Day 2 of the February ratings “sweeps.”

Gannett8 won comfortably at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Gannett8 also notched an uncommon first place finish at 6 a.m. in total viewers but was nipped by Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while Gannett8 prevailed in the 25-to-54 demographic.

NBC5 and Gannett8 tied for the most total viewers at 5 p.m., with Fox4 winning among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net