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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 27-29) -- Cowboys rediscover one million mark, World Series routs Sunday Night Football on Fox's mega-sports weekend

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A rain-soaked, wind-swept Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game followed by the craziest Game 5 in World Series history gave Fox one of its richest sports feasts ever Sunday.

The Cowboys 33-19 road win re-acquainted the team with one million-plus D-FW viewers after last Sunday’s rout of the hapless San Francisco 49ers punched the ratings below the one mil mark for the second time this season.

Cowboys-Redskins, which ran until 6:36 p.m., averaged 1,289,100 viewers and 514,899 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. That’s a big step up from the 997,094 total viewers and 399,437 in the 18-to-49 realm for the previous Sunday’s 40-10 pasting of San Francisco on Fox.

Then, after a little toweling off, Fox presented a home run-fueled Game 5 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams’ respective aces, Dallas Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw, took early knockout punches before Houston finally won 13-12 in 10 innings in a marathon that ran from 7:21 p.m. to 12:39 a.m. The Astros overcame 4-0 and 7-4 deficits while the Dodgers erased a three-run Houston lead in the top of the ninth.

It all added up to an average of 598,256 total viewers and 237,166 in the 18-to-49 motherlode. Those easily were Fox’s best World Series numbers to date, with 484,303 total viewers still hanging in for the final pitch in various states of consciousness.

Over on NBC, the closely fought Sunday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions ranked a distant second with an average of 334,739 total viewers and 140,427 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Fox offered a much tamer and shorter Game 4 of the World Series Saturday night. Running from 7:21 to 10:27 p.m., the Dodgers’ win pulled in 377,471 total viewers in easily winning the night. Fox’s preceding Big Ten showdown, a 39-38 Ohio State win over Penn State, averaged 135,320 total viewers. ABC’s prime-time Oklahoma-Texas Tech offering outdrew Buckeyes-Nittany Lions with an average of 199,419 total viewers.

Friday night’s Game 3 of the World Series, which the Astros won, carried Fox to another prime-time sweep. Running from 7:22 to 11:07 p.m., it averaged 391,716 total viewers.

Finally, here are Friday’s local news derby results for the second weekday of the November “sweeps” ratings period.

CBS11 edged NBC5 for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while the Peacock narrowly beat CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). It was a downsized three-way race, with Fox4’s late nighter pushed past 11 p.m. by the World Series.

Fox4 otherwise collected all of the other spoils, with sweeps at 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 25-26) -- unsightly Ravens-Dolphins game still beats all

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
If ever there were a litmus test of the NFL’s drawing power, it was the butt-ugly Ravens-Dolphins encounter on Thursday Night Football.

Baltimore’s 40-0 rout of inept and dirty Miami, with both teams using backup QBs most of the way, found even the CBS booth team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo rooting for it to end. In the final minutes, a cat on the field lent the night’s only real excitement, with Romo wondering whether the feline had gotten both feet in-bounds before exiting.

Nevertheless, the eyesore drew prime-time’s biggest overall audience on the first day of the November “sweeps” ratings period, with 220,785 D-FW viewers tuned to CBS and another 56,977 to the NFL Net simulcast for a total of 277,762.

Those aren’t imposing numbers. But the best that rival networks could do was ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which had 192,297 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour. Only the second half of the episode aired opposite football.

TNF also took the night as a whole among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with 84,256 viewers for CBS and 15,603 for NFL Net for a total of 99,859. But NBC’s 7:30 p.m. episode of The Good Place managed to beat the first half-hour of Ravens-Dolphins with 87,377 viewers in this key demographic before the NFL reigned for the rest of the night.

Let’s move to Wednesday night, where the infinitely more captivating Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers gave Fox a big edge all night.

Ending at 11:36 p.m. with a home run-laden 7-6 Astros win in 11 innings, the marathon game averaged 398,838 total viewers and 152,909 in the 18-to-49 realm. (These ratings reflect the actual running time of the game. We don’t mess around here at unclebarky.com.)

CBS had the runner-up attraction with its 7 p.m. hour of Survivor. It drew 192,297 total viewers while ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Modern Family was the night’s second most-watched program with 18-to-49-year-olds (65,533).

And now for the local news derby results.

Wednesday -- On November “sweeps” eve, TEGNA8 won a downsized 10 p.m. competition in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. races and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- On Day One of the “sweeps,” another three-way 10 p.m. face-off found TEGNA8 nipping NBC5 in total viewers while Fox4 won more comfortably in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m., and TEGNA8 slipped into second place ahead of NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 also logged twin wins at 5 p.m. and added a 6 p.m. gold in the 25-to-54 realm. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

It's a "social" whirl at TEGNA8's new Twitter/Facebook-driven Daybreak

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New Daybreak traffic anchor Demetria Obilor also has other duties. Photo: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Determined and at times seemingly desperate to differentiate itself from its early morning rivals, TEGNA8’s Daybreak has notably ramped up its “social media” content without much regard for the overall nutritive value.

As previously posted, the arrival of Twitter/Instagram maven Demetria Obilor as traffic anchor serves to accelerate that process as part of an overall TEGNA corporate initiative. Obilor, who started on Monday, Oct. 23rd, doubled as Daybreak’s “Speed Feed” presenter on Wednesday’s program, which I watched in its entirety to get the new lay of the land.

Perhaps mystifying some of the show’s demographically “undesirable” older viewers -- and maybe a few younger ones, too -- Obilor said during the 6 a.m. hour’s Speed Feed, “Love ‘em or hate ‘em, get those emojis poppin’.” The reference was to the Kardashians’ newly signed five-year deal with the E! Entertainment network, which will pay them $30 million annually. Emojis, some of which Daybreak displayed at the bottom of home screens, are those little Twitter symbols for happy, sad, etc., etc.

Daybreak also deploys the recently hired Janelle Brandom as its “social media anchor.” She likewise received ample air time Wednesday, presiding over a pair of social media polls that have no scientific basis or accuracy but are designed to keep any participating viewers tuned in to see if their Twitter or Facebook comments might be shown on-air. Imagine the excitement.

In this view, a little social media can go a long way, but too much of it can be a turnoff rather than a lure. It’s the risk Daybreak is taking, with TEGNA corporate as the drive shaft and TEGNA8 news director Carolyn Mungo very much on board. She’s been a social media champion since joining the station in February 2012. In a publicity release touting her hiring, Mungo said, “It’s not good enough anymore to simply embrace new media. It has to become part of the fabric of a television station. The key is engagement, every hour of every day.” (Mungo doesn’t talk to unclebarky.com.)

Daybreak, which currently ranks third in the early morning news ratings behind Fox4 and NBC5, is plunging into the Twitter/Facebook/insta-poll deep end while also retaining a few staples such as frequent weather and traffic updates and repetition of live stories from the field. On Wednesday’s show, Hannah Davis recycled the latest news in the tragic Sherin Mathews case in four live dispatches in front of a makeshift memorial in memory of the three-year-old.

What mostly stood out, however, was the time devoted to detailing and conversing on social media polls and supposedly “trending” topics.

“Join us to react to the show!” viewers were encouraged in print. It seemed to be as much a plea as a come-on, in part because some of the Twitter reactions were repeated from segment to segment (giving the impression there hadn’t been enough new ones coming in).

Obilor for the most part presided smoothly over both her traffic and social media venues. But she did twice misstate that Highland Park native and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had struck out 10 Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series, even though both co-anchor Ron Corning and a Twitter respondent had the correct total of 11 throughout the show.

During the 5 a.m. hour, Obilor, Corning and co-anchor Alexa Conomos spent an undue amount of time chewing over a “trending” Speed Feed Twitter item with the hashtag MakeATVShowStupid. Examples included “Lame of Thrones, Big Bangs Theory” and “Bewitless” (for Bewitched).

“We call this ‘Daybroke’ already,” Corning quipped while Obilor proclaimed herself a”huge, huge” Game of Thrones fan who felt offended by the “Lame of Thrones” tag. And so on.

Later in the 5 a.m. hour, things really went on and on after a news nugget about a brief written note from Albert Einstein that went for $1.3 million at an auction. The famed genius wrote, “A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”

Daybreak crew member “Larry” was brought on camera briefly to give Einstein’s wisdom a thumbs up -- with his cast-bound broken hand. Obilor noted that someone once said, “The only person that doesn’t have problems is a dead person.” Which in fact is hard to dispute.

For the record, Brandom’s two social media polls went like this. In light of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s denouncement of President Trump and decision not to run for another term, 82 percent of respondents said the GOP had changed for the worse and 15 percent for the better. Just 3 percent still weren’t sure.

And had the Denton Independent School District made the right decision in keeping a student away from a homecoming dance because he hadn’t filled out the proper “forms” beforehand? At last count, 71 percent had sided against school officials and 29 percent thought otherwise.

As it stands now, there are too many social media-fueled empty calories on Daybreak, which even packages reporter Sean Giggy’s feature stories as “Giggybytes.” Veterans Corning and Conomos basically are required to play along while longtime early morning meteorologist Greg Fields kept his distance Wednesday and didn’t join in any of the reindeer games.

Fields oftentimes must wonder what’s hit him during the nearly 20 years he’s watched a passing parade of Daybreak news and traffic anchors -- and formats. But never more so than at the moment. If Obilor and Brandom represent yet another new dawn, then Fields is the cloud cover.

“Morning Meteorologist at WFAA-TV is what I do, not who I am,” Fields says tellingly at the top of his Twitter feed, which has 1,281 followers. In contrast, Obilor has 30,369 and so far has tweeted 17 times within the past 24 hours. I think we know where the power lies.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Dale Hansen is cutting back at TEGNA8 while also extending himself

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Dale Hansen (right) with fellow honorees Byron Harris and Janet St. James at last June’s North Texas Legends event held by the Press Club of Dallas at the downtown Sixth Floor Museum. Photo: Ed Bark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dean of Dallas sports anchors Dale Hansen is lightening his workload but remaining in place at TEGNA8 through 2018.

The announcement of his new regimen came Monday via a release funneled to Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram, which has a content-sharing agreement with the Dallas-based ABC affiliate. TEGNA8 intentionally bypassed unclebarky.com, which has been the norm in recent years. It’s the price of being independent, although no other Dallas-based station operates in this fashion.

Effective next year, Hansen, 69, will anchor only the 10 p.m. weekday newscasts under his new one-year deal while also continuing with his Sunday night Sports Special.

“I have waited more than 40 years to have Johnny Carson’s schedule,” he said in the release. “My biggest challenge may be whether I can live to see the end of this new contract.”

Hansen has been with TEGNA8 (formerly home-owned by the A.H. Belo Corp.) since 1983, when he arrived shortly after being fired by crosstown rival KDFW-TV (now known as Fox4).

In separate comments to unclebarky.com, Hansen said he’ll remain a full-time employee with benefits despite his lessened work schedule.

And yes, he has thought about staying too long at the party, and risking a “senior moment” that could tarnish what has been a notably distinguished and long-running tenure. Hansen’s occasional “Unplugged” commentaries have brought him national recognition, including a guest appearance on Ellen (where he received a standing ovation) and a recent feature story in The New York Times.

“It’s something I think about every day,” Hansen said of knowing when to quit. “I have told Sean Hamilton (TEGNA8’s director of sports and special projects). “My wife. My friends. Damn near everybody. That if they let me stay too long they will disappoint me a great deal. I really am afraid of that, but obviously don’t think I’m there yet . . . I’ve seen it happen to others. I don’t want it to happen to me. I hope to leave before they kick me out.”

Hansen said he signed just a one-year deal in part because of those fears and also “because I don’t think anyone really knows where we’re going. As a 70-year-old. As a station. As a style. All of that.”

No one is indispensable. But Hansen’s one of a kind, and nothing or no one will ever change that.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 24) -- a World Series sweep for Fox

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Played in an unheard of two hours and 28 minutes, Fox’s Game 1 of the World Series beat all competing programming Tuesday night, including the formidable trio of CBS’ NCIS and NBC’s The Voice and This Is Us.

The 3-1 win by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Houston Astros ran from 7:11 to 9:39 p.m., which is a news flash in days when post-season games typically run over three hours. It averaged 391,716 D-FW viewers, with 156,030 of them in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range.

CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of NCIS drew 292,006 total viewers while The Voice had 270,640. This Is Us then ramped up slightly to 277,762 viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, This Is Us pulled in 146,668, followed by The Voice (81,136) and NCIS (46,809).

ABC’s top draw in total viewers, The Middle, had 149,564 opposite the first inning of the World Series and the closing minutes of pre-game activities.

Here are the local news derby results on the eve of the November “sweeps” ratings period.

Fox4 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The station also edged NBC5 for the most total viewers at 6 a.m. while the two of them tied in the 25-to-54 measurement.

CBS11 swept the 6 p.m. competitions and also added an uncommon win at 5 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. TEGNA8 broke through by nipping NBC5 in the 5 p.m. battle for total viewers.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Oct. 23) -- Big Bang & football set pace

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’s The Big Bang Theory as usual led all prime-time TV attractions in total viewers while ESPN’s Monday Night Football averaged the most advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

Big Bang amassed 398,838 total D-FW viewers before the rest of CBS’ comedy lineup again fell off. The MNF game, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins, ranked second in total viewers (320,495) and topped all Monday night programming in 18-to-49-year-olds with 140,427.

At 9 p.m., ABC’s The Good Doctor continued to operate successfully by winning its slot among the Big Four broadcast networks with 220,785 total viewers. But it fell to a competitive third among 18-to-49-years behind NBC’s competing The Brave and Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast. CBS’ Scorpion, which used to have some ratings sting, ran last in both measurements.

Also, The CW’s 7 p.m. episode of Supergirl managed to fly higher with 18-to-49-year-olds than the first hour of ABC’s increasingly older-skewing Dancing with the Stars.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 ran first in total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 won comfortably with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. wreaths went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 20-22) -- Cowboys romp but viewership droops

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys’ 40-10 stomping of the winless San Francisco 49ers Sunday game them a 3-3 record while still putting them behind something of a ratings eight-ball.

Airing from mid-afternoon to early evening on Fox, the game averaged 997,094 D-FW viewers in falling just short of the magic one million mark. Dallas’ earlier high-scoring home loss to the Los Angeles Rams also came up short of one million viewers. All of last season’s games drew one million viewers or more.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-49ers pulled in 399,437 viewers. The NFL in general continues to come up short of the 50 percent mark in this category while most NBA games exceed it. It’s a concern for both the Cowboys and the league.

That said, nothing else came close to the Cowboys Sunday. The runner-up attraction, NBC’s marquee Sunday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, averaged 398,838 total viewers and 184,115 in the 18-to-49-year-old realm.

Sunday’s 8 p.m. return of AMC’s The Walking Dead lured 263,518 total viewers, with slightly more than half of them (134,186) in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

On Saturday, ABC’s early-starting Texas-Oklahoma State game (which the Longhorns blew in overtime via a climactic soft toss end zone interception) led the TV parade with 284,884 total viewers. Fairly close behind was the deciding Game 7 of the Houston Astros-New York Yankees American League Championship Series, which averaged 242,151 viewers on FS1. The World Series between the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers begins Tuesday night on Fox. Houston becomes the first team to represent both the NL and AL under the same city and name.

CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Blue Bloods again ranked as Friday’s most-watched prime-time show with 249,274 total viewers. The networks’ preceding Hawaii Five-0 took the 18-to-49 crown in the Big Four broadcast network universe with 37,447 of ‘em.

And now for Friday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 recorded its first 10 p.m. sweep in recent memory with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 edged NBC5 for the most total viewers at 6 a.m. while the two stations tied for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 5 p.m. and added a 6 p.m. first with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TEGNA8 names former Vegas traffic anchor Demetria Obilor to fill that spot on weekday Daybreak

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dallas-based TEGNA8’s lengthy search for a new weekday morning traffic anchor has stopped with Demetria Obilor, who was introduced Friday at the close of Daybreak’s 6 a.m. hour.

Obilar, who starts on Monday, Oct. 23rd, arrives from Las Vegas’ “8 News NOW” (also known as CBS affiliate KLAS-TV), where she’s also been doing traffic for the past few years. The University of Kansas graduate earlier prepped as the traffic reporter for NBC affiliate KSHB-TV.

Lauren Nevitt, a Lake Highland resident and graduate of Dallas’ Bishop Lynch High School, will now work the early morning weekend shift. She also had been what now turns out to be the interim weekday Daybreak traffic anchor. TEGNA8 had been looking for a replacement since DeSoto police sergeant Nick Bristow was dropped in January of this year after two-and-a-half years with Daybreak.

Obilar also is notably active on the “social media” front, an arena which Daybreak has been selling hard of late in an effort to climb out of third place in an increasingly closely fought early morning ratings race still headed by Fox4 and NBC5. Janelle Brandom joined Daybreak in June as the program’s “social media anchor” and is now featured daily in Twitter- and Facebook-driven segments.

Obilor, who has nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter and 49,400 on Instagram, is not shy about showcasing herself and won both the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Awards at Las Vegas’ Container Park Fashion Show.

As previously posted, TEGNA8 continues to search for Daybreak co-anchor Alexa Conomos’ replacement. She lately has agreed to stay on until the end of the year after first announcing in January that she would be leaving Daybreak to spend more “normal” hours with her husband and their three young children.

The two apparent frontrunners for the position are TEGNA8 incumbent Sonia Azad and Vinita Nair, both of whom have joined anchor Ron Corning on the air this month. Nair, who was raised in Colleyville, TX, most recently co-anchored on CBS This Morning Saturday with Anthony Mason, who lately has been filling in for Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News while the network looks for a permanent successor. Nair left CBS in November of last year.

TEGNA8 news director Carolyn Mungo does not comment on personnel matters, or anything for that matter, to unclebarky.com. She is alone among D-FW news directors in that respect.

The station has a “content-sharing” pact with Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram, to which news of TEGNA8 personnel matters has been directed previously. In Conomos’ case, she was told to comment on her planned departure only to the Star-Telegram.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 18-19) -- NFL is still ruling class

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Despite its ongoing flag controversies, both with players and bungling, penalty-happy refs, the authoritarian NFL still has an iron-fisted grip on the almighty Nielsen ratings.

The Cersei Lannister of pro sports leagues again wiped out the competition with CBS/NFL Net’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.

Decided on the last play of an elongated game with a 31-30 Oakland win, TNF averaged 256,396 D-FW viewers on CBS and tacked on another 64,099 for the NFL Network simulcast for a grand total of 320,495.

Among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, the game had 93,618 on CBS and 31,206 on NFL Net for a combined 124,824. All of these numbers reflect the game’s actual running time.

NBC’s 8 p.m. episode of Will & Grace ranked as the prime-time runner-up in both measurements with 163,808 total viewers and 74,894 in the 18-to-49 age range.

On Wednesday night, CBS 7 p.m. hour of Survivor spanked Fox’s competing and badly sagging Empire in total viewers by a score of 192,297 to 135,320. Survivor also won with 18-to-49-year-olds -- 65,533 to 53,050.

CBS’ SEAL Team took the 8 p.m. hour in total viewers before Fox4’s local newscast edged CBS’ Criminal Minds in this measurement at 9 p.m. The 18-to-49 firsts from 8 to 10 p.m. went to ABC’s Modern Family, the second half-hour of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.

And now, here are the local news derby results.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Warming up for a possibly strong run at reigning champ Fox4 in the November “sweeps” ratings (which fire up on Thursday, Oct. 26th), NBC5 scored twin wins at 6 a.m.

The Peacock likewise swept the 6 p.m. competitions and was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m. Fox4 and NBC5 shared the total viewers spoils at 5 p.m.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 stayed solid at 10 p.m. by running the table in a downsized three-way competition.

NBC5 nipped Fox4 in total viewers at 6 a.m. and won a bit more comfortably with 25-to-54-year-olds.

TEGNA8 basked in a doubleheader sweep at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., Oct. 16-17) -- NBC's in the money

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC saw dollar signs Tuesday, sweeping the prime-time ratings in the money demographic -- advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Voice led off with 68,653 D-FW viewers in the 7 p.m. hour before This Is Us more than doubled that score with 137,306 in the key 18-to-49-year-old age range. NBC’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders then topped the 9 p.m. competition in the Big Four broadcast network universe, even with a greatly diminished 46,809 viewers in the 18-to-49 realm.

This Is Us also won its time slot in total viewers, but CBS bookended that with 7 and 9 p.m. firsts by NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans.

Over on TNT, the prime-time NBA regular season opener between the Cleveland Cavaliers and visiting Boston Celtics averaged a smallish 113,954 total viewers. Well more than half of them, though -- 65,533 -- were within the 18-to-49 sweet spot. Although its overall audiences are a lot smaller, the NBA continues to perform far better, percentage-wise, than the NFL does with Madison Avenue’s more “desirable” viewers.

On Monday night, ABC continued to prosper with the fall season’s one bonafide new hit, The Good Doctor. It easily won at 9 p.m. in total viewers with 270,640, matching The Voice’s numbers from 7 to 9 p.m. But Monday’s big winner was CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of The Big Bang Theory, which had prime-time highs in both total viewers (384,593) and 18-to-49-year-olds (124,824).

Good Doctor also easily won its 9 p.m. slot with 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing Monday’s second-best total of 87,377. ESPN’s lackluster Monday Night Football matchup, Titans and Colts, couldn’t keep up with The Voice or Good Doctor in either audience measurement.

Here are the local news derby results.

Monday -- Prospering from an uncommonly strong 9 p.m. lead-in from ABC, TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

NBC5 swept the 6 a.m. competitions for the second straight weekday while also running the table at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. golds went to the Peacock in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Tuesday -- CBS11 ended another lengthy drought with a 10 p.m. win in total viewers while TEGNA8 again was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 edged NBC5 for the most total viewers at 6 a.m., but was beaten by the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 had twin wins at 5 p.m. and also drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. TEGNA8 prevailed in total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 13-15) -- Texas-OU helps to fill Cowboy-less void

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The weekend came and went without the Dallas Cowboys, who were in their bye week. So nothing approached a million-plus viewers, but Fair Park’s annual “Red River” Shootout” averaged about one-third of a typical Cowboys crowd in easily topping all college football games.

Won 29-24 by Oklahoma after a big Texas comeback, the game stretched to 6:23 p.m. Saturday on ESPN and drew 398,838 D-FW viewers. The TV crowd peaked past a half-million viewers (569,768 to be exact) for the closing minutes.

Mostly airing opposite Texas-OU, Fox’s Game 2 of the Houston Astros-New York Yankees ALCS series (the first post-season clash on a free, over-the-air broadcast network) averaged a comparatively paltry 99,709 viewers. But it did comfortably outdraw CBS’ LSU-Auburn game (71,221) and ABC’s Miami-Georgia Tech game (42,733), both of which aired opposite baseball.

On Sunday, a pair of NFL match ups both edged Texas-OU. CBS’ late afternoon/early evening clash, Steelers vs. Chiefs, averaged 420,204 viewers while NBC’s Sunday Night Football -- Giants-Broncos -- ranked as the day’s overall top draw with 427,326 viewers.

Friday’s prime-time attractions were led by CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Blue Bloods (220,785 viewers) while ABC’s 7 p.m. hour of Once Upon A Time was tops with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds (34,327).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 won among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The Peacock enjoyed twin wins at 6 a.m., where Fox4 generally prevails. And NBC5 also ran the table at 6 p.m.

TEGNA8 broke through to win in total viewers at 5 p.m. and shared the 25-to-54 lead with NBC5.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 11-12) -- football beats baseball, and what else is new?

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The deciding Game 5 of the Chicago Cubs-Washington Nationals National League Division Series clashed with the Philadelphia Eagles-Carolina Panthers game on Thursday Night Football.

Baseball again struck out in D-FW.

The Eagles’ 28-23 win at Carolina, which ran until 10:46 p.m., averaged 277,762 viewers on CBS and added another 64,099 on NFL Net for a total of 341,861. The Cubs’ topsy turvy, 9-inning 9-8 win at Washington, a 4 hour, 37 minute marathon that went on and on to 11:45 p.m., averaged 113,954 viewers on TBS. Hand calculator technology says that’s one-third of the audience for a regular season NFL game.

Elsewhere Thursday, ABC’s 7 p.m. episode of Grey’s Anatomy was the runner-up attraction in prime-time with 206,541 total viewers and 78,015 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic. NBC’s 8 p.m. entry, Will & Grace, also stayed solid with 185,174 total viewers and 74,894 in the 18-to-49 realm.

ABC’s 9 p.m. hour of How to Get Away with Murder continued to struggle with fourth-place time slot finishes in both ratings measurements. The network’s preceding Scandal, in its final season, likewise ran fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds in the Big Four broadcast network universe.

On Wednesday, Fox’s Empire drew its smallest audiences to date in both key ratings barometers, with 149,564 total viewers and 68,653 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. The onetime juggernaut again lost its 7 p.m. slot across the board to CBS’ competing Survivor.

As for The CW’s Dynasty re-do, well, it already pretty much looks DOA. The show’s 8 p.m. premiere was strictly still-life, with 14,244 total viewers and 624(!!!) in the 18-to-49 age range.

Here are the local news derby results.

Wednesday -- Fox4 nearly pulled off an extremely rare double grand slam. The station swept the 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. competitions in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) while also running first at 10 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds. But NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., with Fox4 a close third.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 won a downsized three-way 10 p.m. race in total viewers but Fox4 again prevailed among 25-to-4-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins with 25-to-54-year-olds. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while Fox4 and NBC5 shared the total viewers gold at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 10) -- usual big hitters in slumps

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
For the first time in memory, a new episode of NCIS wasn’t CBS’ most-watched prime-time attraction Tuesday. And NBC’s This Is Us lost its time slot in total D-FW viewers to CBS’ competing Bull.

Let’s look closer.

In its usual lead-off spot, NCIS had a substandard 292,006 viewers and barely beat NBC’s The Voice (284,884) in the 7 p.m. hour.

Bull then narrowly outdrew NCIS with 292,006 viewers from 8 to 9 p.m. while This Is Us slipped to second in the time slot with 242,151 viewers.

CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans led the way at 9 p.m. with 220,785 viewers.

NBC remained strong in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range, though, with This Is Us leading all Tuesday prime-time programming (118,583 viewers). The Voice and the Peacock’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders also won their slots in this key demographic.

ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of black-ish was its high scorer in both major ratings measurements. And Fox’s Lethal Weapon remained solid at 7 p.m. before its followup, The Mick, fell heavily, particularly in total viewers.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 won in total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 pulled in the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again notched twin wins at 6 a.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. spoils went to NBC5 and TEGNA8 (which shared the lead in total viewers) and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Oct. 9) -- Big Bang tops prime-time before CBS falters

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’ The Big Bang Theory remained rock solid as the network’s Monday night lead-off hitter before its followup acts showed extreme shrinkage.

The long-running sitcom topped all prime-time programming in both total D-FW viewers (398,838) and advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds (143,548), beating the first half-hours of both NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Then attrition set in. The Voice amassed the most total viewers (327,617) from 7:30 to 9 p.m. while also easily winning among 18-to-49-year-olds (99,859) in competition among the Big Four broadcast networks.

The new CBS sitcom 9JKL fell to third place in total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds from 7:30 to 8 p.m., but did beat the second half of Fox’s competing Lucifer. From 8:30 to 9 p.m., another CBS newcomer, Me, Myself & I, fell to fourth in both ratings measurements.

In the 9 p.m. hour, CBS’ Scorpion continued to struggle with another pair of fourth place finishes. The third episode of ABC’s 9 p.m. newcomer, The Good Doctor, won the hour in total viewers but slipped to third place with 18-to-49-year-olds while Fox4’s local newscast won the time period in that key barometer.

Over on The CW, the network’s 8 p.m. launch of the military drama Valor came up mostly empty with just 35,611 total viewers and 12,482 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football attraction, Vikings vs. Bears, held steady with an average of 263,518 total viewers and 109,221 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 took the top spot in total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 won with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 enjoyed the early evening with twin wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 6-8) -- cheesy outcome but tasty numbers for Packers' last-second win over Cowboys

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did it again to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, orchestrating a last-ditch touchdown drive that ended with a 35-31 victory at Jerry’s Palace in Game 5 of the regular season.

Airing on Fox as the featured late afternoon/early evening matchup, Packers-Cowboys averaged 1,232,123 D-FW viewers and 493,055 in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Those were significant bumps up from last Sunday’s early starting, high-scoring Cowboys loss to the Los Angeles Rams, which drew a relatively paltry 981,599 total viewers and 407,302 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Game 3, a decisive Cowboys road win at Arizona, did a speck better than Packers-Cowboys in total viewers with 1,236,087 but appreciably worse among 18-to-49-year-olds (416,923). Game 5’s numbers were affected by Nielsen’s annual population estimates for D-FW, which were revised downward in the interim. Each rating point now equals 71,221 total viewers -- down from 72,711 -- while the 18-to-49 measurement also regressed from 32,071 viewers to the current 31,206.

The Cowboys’ biggest draw this season remains the home opener against the still winless New York Giants. It had the extra advantage of airing in prime-time on NBC’s Sunday Night Football stage, emerging with 1,635,998 total viewers and 715,183 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. The way things are going for the Cowboys -- and the NFL in general -- those numbers may hold up as the season’s high points.

NBC’s latest SNF game, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans, drew 391,716 total viewers and 171,633 in the 18-to-49 age range. Finishing close behind was Fox’s early afternoon Philadelphia Eagles-Arizona Cardinals game, with 370,349 total viewers and 149,789 of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

Sunday’s 9 p.m. second episode of ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley again tanked with 85,465 total viewers and just 15,603 in the 18-to-49 measurement. Both were bad enough for last-place time slot finishes among the Big Four broadcast networks.

Saturday’s college football parade was led by FS1’s afternoon TCU-West Virginia game with 170,930 total viewers. That narrowly outpointed FS1’s following Texas-Kansas State game and ESPN’s prime-time A&M-Alabama face-off, each of which averaged 163,808 viewers.

Moving on to Friday, where CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Blue Bloods again led all programming in total viewers (270,640) while NBC’s two-hour Dateline took the 18-to-49 crown with 37,447 viewers.

The 8 p.m. second episode of ABC’s Marvel’s Inhumans lagged badly with 71,221 total viewers and 18,724 in the 18-to-49 age range. But Fox’s competing The Exorcist, now in its second season, fared even worse with a sub-paltry 28,488 total viewers and 15,603 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Finally, here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions with first-place finishes in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 edged the Peacock in both ratings measurement at 6 a.m. and also ran the table at 5 p.m. NBC5 had twin wins at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Oct. 5) -- football kicks it

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Thursday Night Football on CBS and the NFL Net routed all competing programming, no doubt with another local angle assist from former Cowboys QB Tony Romo in the booth with old pro Jim Nantz.

The New England Patriots’ 19-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers averaged 299,128 D-FW viewers on the CBS mothership and another 64,099 for the NFL Net’s replica. Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, CBS had 93,618 viewers and the NFL Net, 21,844.

The next closest TV attractions, NBC’s Will & Grace and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, drew 163,808 total viewers apiece. In the 18-to-49 realm, Will & Grace had the runner-up spot to itself with 65,533 viewers.

Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of The Orville hung in pretty well, leading the network’s prime-time attractions in both ratings measurements while pounding ABC’s competing Scandal and NBC’s 8:30 p.m. episode of Great News in the key 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 ran first at 10 p.m. in total viewers but Fox4 took the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions while the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its Good Day continued to crush the competing network morning shows on ABC, CBS and NBC.

NBC5 logged twin wins at 6 p.m. and also had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. Fox4 was the 5 p.m. leader with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Oct. 4) -- Empire crumbling

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
An unbeatable force in its first two seasons, Fox’s Empire is now sagging through the early weeks of Season 4.

The latest episode drew a rather lowly 170,930 D-FW viewers in running second to CBS’ competing Survivor (227,907).

Even worse, Empire fell behind both Survivor and ABC’s The Goldbergs among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds while barely beating ABC’s 7:30 p.m. sitcom, Speechless.

At 8 p.m., CBS’ new SEAL Team won in total viewers (192,297) and also ran first from 8:30 to 9 p.m. with 18-to-49-year-olds. The first half-hour of SEAL Team was whipped by ABC’s Modern Family with 78,015 viewers within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Fox4’s local newscast won in total viewers at 9 p.m. with 149,564, but placed second to CBS’ competing Criminal Minds (37,447) among 18-to-49ers.

And now here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers while CBS11, faring better in the late night lately, notched a rare win among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and even more impressively continued to dominate the ABC/CBS/NBC morning shows with the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its locally produced Good Day. Among 25-to-54-year-olds, Good Day drew double the crowd of any competing network show.

TEGNA8 ran the table at 6 p.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 3) -- ABC struggles with two premieres

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Flush from a big Monday night for its new The Good Doctor, ABC got flushed Tuesday night with the premieres of The Mayor and Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.

In the Big Four broadcast network universe, both shows ran last from 8:30 to 10 p.m. in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. Among total D-FW viewers, The Mayor took the bronze ahead of Fox’s competing Brooklyn Nine-Nine while Kevin tied for third with NBC’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

NBC had the top overall draw with its 7 p.m. episode of The Voice, which drew 313,372 total viewers. The Peacock’s following This Is Us had Tuesday’s highest score among 18-to-49-year-olds with 96,739. Both shows swept their time slots.

At 9 p.m., CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans won in total viewers (220,785) while Fox4’s local newscast lured the most 18-to-49-year-olds (46,809).

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 enjoyed some rarefied air for a change by winning at 10 p.m. in total viewers while running a close second to Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 returned to its accustomed top spot at 6 a.m. with twin wins and NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTE -- Former NBC5 anchor/reporter Amanda Guerra has been named co-anchor of the KRLD Morning News, joining the AM radio station’s incumbents, Scott Sams and Mike Rogers, from 5 to 10 a.m. weekdays. KRLD program director Paul Mann made the announcement Wednesday.

Guerra has been a midday news anchor and reporter for the past year with KRLD. She replaces Melissa Harrison, who earlier left the morning shift to spend more time with her family, according to the station.

Guerra left NBC5 in March 2016 after almost a five-year stay. On her closing Sunday, 10 p.m. newscast, Guerra tearfully told her colleagues, “I’m going to go spend some time with my family.”

She’s a graduate of Dallas’ Ursuline Academy and has a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

NBC5 adds/subtracts reporters Diana Zoga/Ashleigh Barry

Ashleigh-Barry-20171 1490004937805

Leaving/joining NBC5: reporters Ashleigh Barry (left) & Diana Zoga

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
After just a one-year stay, reporter Ashleigh Barry is leaving Fort Worth-based NBC5 to be closer to her native state of Massachusetts.

Barry, who had been covering the police beat, joined the station in October of last year after spending the previous two years with KPHO/KTVK-TV in Phoenix. She has a journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Barry’s last scheduled day at NBC5 is Friday, Oct. 13th.

The station also is adding a reporter. Diana Zoga, who left Dallas-based Fox4 in March of this year after the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract, will be joining NBC5 next month as a full-time, Collin County-based reporter.

Zoga spent two years with Fox4 after joining the station from CBS affiliate KMOV-TV in St. Louis. She is a 1999 graduate of Plano East Senior High School and also has a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Oct. 2) -- The Good Doctor medicates ABC

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Bumped from its scheduled 9 p.m. Monday premiere last week by TEGNA8’s simulcast of the Dallas Cowboys-Arizona Cardinals game, ABC’s The Good Doctor bounced back big time with its second episode.

Improving on the network’s Dancing with the Stars lead-in, Good Doc comfortably won its 9 p.m. slot in both total D-FW viewers (263,518) and with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (90,497).

NBC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of The Voice was Monday’s top prime-time draw in total viewers (363,227) and tied for first in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic (112,342) with ESPN’s down to the last seconds Monday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins. The game averaged 263,518 total viewers.

Among the Big Four broadcast networks, Fox’s 8 p.m. premiere of The Gifted finished third in total viewers with 178,053 while moving up to a solid second among 18-to-49-year-olds (84,256).

The night’s other new broadcast net premiere, CBS’ 9JKL, ran third in its 7:30 p.m. slot in both total viewers (163,808) and 18-to-49-year-olds (46,809). CBS’ once potent 9 p.m. attraction, Scorpion, fell to fourth place in total viewers among the Big Four broadcasters and tied NBC’s new The Brave for third place with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Note to readers: This is our first use of the new Nielsen population estimates for D-FW, which are revised each fall. The number of total viewers per rating point has declined from 72,711 to 71,221 while the 18-to-49-year-old value has slipped from 32,071 per rating point to 31,206. No local station is happy with such downsizing.

Meanwhile, here are Monday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 had a nice time at 10 p.m., winning in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

NBC5 in turn ended Fox4’s lengthy, two-pronged 6 a.m. winning streak by sweeping those competitions.

The Peacock also ran the table at 5 p.m. and drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. TEGNA8 ran first in total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Sept. 28-Oct. 1) -- Cowboys dip below one mil mark while losing to Ram chargers

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A noon start never helps. Still, the Dallas Cowboys surprisingly fell below the one million viewers mark for the first time this season with Sunday’s 35-30 upset loss to the suddenly resurgent Los Angeles Rams.

Game 4 of the regular season on Fox stretched to 3:23 p.m. and averaged 981,599 D-FW viewers. Last season’s 13-3 Cowboys hit the million-plus mark for all 16 games.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-Rams averaged a lowly 407,302 viewers. Interest built down the stretch, though, with the final minutes of the game drawing highs of 1,177,918 total viewers and 490,686 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Meanwhile Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers played their final game of the season to a near-empty Nielsen house of 43,627 total viewers and 6,414 in the 18-to-49 realm.

The day also brought three prime-time network series premieres, none of which came close to outdrawing NBC’s less than scintillating Sunday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts. Seattle’s drubbing of Indy had 385,368 total viewers and 198,840 within the 18-to-49 demographic.

ABC’s 9 p.m. launch of Ten Days in the Valley was the biggest loser of the three series premieres, with just 65,440 total viewers and a sub-piddling 3,207 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

CBS’ 7:30 p.m. newbie, Wisdom of the Crowd, fared better with 167,235 total viewers in losing by a smidge to the 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. hour of ABC’s transplanted, two-hour Shark Tank (174,506 viewers). But Wisdom ran last among the Big Four broadcast networks with 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 28,864 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. while the first episode of Fox’s Ghosted had 64,142 viewers of the 18-to-49 range from 7:30 to 8 p.m. to top of all of that network’s prime-time programs. Ghosted ran fourth in total viewers, though, with 109,067.

On Saturday, Fox’s high-scoring, prime-time Oklahoma State-Texas Tech game led all college footballers with 232,675 total viewers.

Let’s move to Friday night, where ABC’s two-hour premiere of Marvel’s Inhumans had a tough go with 87,253 total viewers in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot. In the Big Four broadcast network universe, it beat only Fox’s competing 8 p.m. Season 2 launch of The Exorcist (43,627 viewers). CBS’ season premieres of MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 easily won from 7 to 9 p.m. with 181,778 and 225,404 viewers respectively before CBS’ first new fall episode of Blue Bloods jumped to 269,031 viewers.

Both MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 also had enough juice to win with 18-to-49-year-olds, but Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast nipped Blue Bloods to run first at 9 p.m.

Thursday’s premiere of NBC’s Will & Grace reboot got off to a solid start at 8 p.m. with 254,489 total viewers and 86,592 in the 18-to-49 demographic. W &G outdrew the 8 to 8:30 p.m. portion of CBS’ Thursday Night Football (Packers vs. Bears) in total viewers and ran second to the NFL with 18-to-49ers.

And now for the local news derby results.

Thursday -- In a downsized three-way race, NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again had twin wins at 6 a.m. and also won at both 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The firsts in total viewers went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 at 6 p.m.

Friday -- NBC5 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers and tied Fox4 and TEGNA8 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and the Peacock did likewise at both 5 and 6 p.m.

LOCAL TV NEWS BRIEF -- TEGNA8 president and general manager Mike Devlin is retiring from that position at the end of this year after rejoining the station from Houston’s KHOU-TV in 2005. Earlier in his career he had been a reporter with the Dallas-based station.

TEGNA corporate exec Peter Diaz, in a memo to station staffers, said in part, “Mike’s career reads like a great book -- the kind you like to talk about, pass around, give as gifts, re-read and eventually pass down to future generations. We are grateful for everything he has contributed to our industry and TEGNA.”

TEGNA has not yet decided on a replacement for Devlin. Unclebarky.com wishes him a long and relaxing retirement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net