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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., March 4-5) -- boom times for frosty waker uppers, with Fox4 in slip-sliding driver's seat

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Thursday morning’s Arctic Blast-a-Palooza shut down schools again, kept many adults at home and sent the early morning D-FW news ratings into over-drive.

NBC5, Gannett8 and CBS11 all punched out the 7 to 9 a.m. network shows in favor of continuous fast-freeze coverage. CBS11 had the option of sending CBS This Morning over to sister station TXA21, where it did virtually no ratings business. Fox4 didn’t have to kick out or re-route anything. Its Good Day program extends through 9 a.m. on a daily basis. NBC5 was the only station to keep going and going and going past 10 a.m., when its three rivals all relented and went back to regular entertainment programming. (CBS11 called off its cold weather coverage a half-hour earlier to show the 9:30 a.m. half-hour of CBS’ Let’s Make A Deal. Gannett8’s locally produced Good Morning Texas was all-weather.)

Ratings especially ballooned during the 7 to 9 a.m. hours but all four stations also increased their usual daily audiences in the 5 to 7 a.m. bloc. Here’s how the Nielsen numbers broke down in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

5 to 6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 118,558
NBC5/Gannet8 -- 76,714 apiece
CBS11 -- 55,792

Fox4 -- 80,012
Gannett8 -- 41,488
NBC5 -- 38,524
CBS11 -- 32,597

6 to 7 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 195,272
NBC5 -- 153,428
Gannett8 -- 118,558
CBS11 -- 83,688

Fox4 -- 115,573
NBC5 -- 80,012
CBS11 -- 53,341
Gannett8 -- 47,414

7 to 9 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 244,090
NBC5 -- 230,142
Gannett8 -- 216,194
CBS11 -- 139,480

Fox4 -- 160,024
NBC5 -- 106,682
Gannett8 -- 94,829
CBS11 -- 53,341

Fox4 also had the most viewers in both ratings measurements during the 9 a.m. hour. And lest you think that’s a misprint, CBS11 actually did have more 25-to-54-year-olds than Gannett8 from 6 to 7 a.m. CBS11 then fell well behind its three rivals in the 7 to 9 a.m. segment.

In prime-time Thursday, the premiere of ABC’s critically acclaimed American Crime tied Fox4’s local 9 p.m. news for the most total viewers at that hour. Each had 258,038. Among 18-to-49-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for entertainment programming), Fox4 was the clear choice with 97,768 to runner-up American Crime’s 72,537.

On Wednesday night, Fox4’s 9 p.m. news went off the ratings charts while devoting most of its time to the impending “Arctic Blast.” It drew more than a half million total viewers (530,024) after being fed by another dominating ratings performance by Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of Empire (467,258 viewers).

Fox4’s 9 p.m. news likewise was a steamroller with 18-to-49-year-olds, luring 255,458 viewers in this key demographic after Empire set the table with 233,381.

The 9 p.m. launch of CBS’ CSI: Cyber ran second at that hour in total viewers (285,934) and with 18-to-49-year-olds (56,768).

Fox’s 7 p.m. hour of American Idol edged the first hour of NBC’s The Voice by a score of 376,596 total viewers to 369,622. Idol also won its time period among 18-to-49-year-olds, giving Fox/Fox4 another Wednesday prime-time sweep.

Here are the other local news derby results.

Wednesday -- Fox4 topped off a dominant night with 10 p.m. wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

Both of the 6 a.m. firsts also went to Fox4. It was then NBC5’s turn, with the Peacock running the ratings table at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Thursday -- Gannett8 notched twin wins at 10 p.m. and also drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m.

NBC5 ran first in total viewers at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

We’ve already dealt with the early-to-mid-morning numbers, where Fox4’s continuous ice/snow coverage had an interrupted string of first-place finishes from 5 to 10 a.m.

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