Idol, CBS crime, Leno pace the field | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., March 3) -- Idol, CBS crime, Leno pace the field

Fox's American Idol again breezed through prime-time before CBS buried the 9 p.m. competition with another hour of cops 'n' corpses.

Live performances from the remaining 10 women semi-finalists on Idol lured 488,614 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., with CBS' Criminal Minds running a solid second at 8 p.m. with 366,460 viewers.

CBS' CSI: NY drooped a bit to 339,315 viewers at 9 p.m.; Fox4's Idol-fueled 9 p.m. newscast (223,948 viewers) claimed the silver. ABC's 9 p.m. Oprah Winfrey Oscar special bombed with just 122,153 viewers. That put it in fifth place behind Fox Sports Southwest's closing hour of the resurgent Dallas Mavericks' win over Minnesota (196,803 viewers) and NBC's Law & Order: SVU (183,230 viewers).

In the late night wars, Jay Leno's third Tonight Show after returning from his prime-time grave again bested David Letterman's Late Show despite the latter's high-profile guest list of Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Brokaw and Barbara Walters (reading a Top 10 list). It's getting closer, though, with Leno prevailing this time by a total viewers score of 169,658 to 101,795.

Leno also won among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, as did Idol and CSI: NY in prime-time.

In the final local news derby results of the Olympics-skewed February sweeps, CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. Nielsens in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again controlled the 6 a.m. faceoffs in both ratings measurements and also won at 5 p.m. in total viewers.

WFAA8 and CBS11 tied for the top spot at 6 p.m. in total viewers, with both finishing a sub-smidgen ahead of the Peacock.

WFAA8 had the 6 p.m. gold to itself in the 25-to-54 demographic, as did Fox4 at 5 p.m.