Idol's numbers remain off the charts | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Jan. 26) -- Idol's numbers remain off the charts

Two new judges and cloudy forecasts for Season 10 haven't yet caused Fox to lose any sleep over American Idol's punching power.

The D-FW Nielsens show that Wednesday's two-hour audition chunk from Milwaukee bludgeoned everything in its path while ratings also stabilized nationally. It helped that ABC punted with mostly repeats. But CBS sent a new episode of Criminal Minds into battle -- and was slaughtered.

Idol, in which newbie Steven Tyler is starting to gain traction, averaged 581,759 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. locally. That wiped out former judge Paula Abdul's Live to Dance (96,960 viewers) in the 7 p.m. hour and more than doubled the audience for CBS' following Criminal Minds (283,954 viewers).

Also again left for dead was a new episode of NBC's made-in-Dallas Chase. It ran fourth at 8 p.m. with a lost cause audience of 69,257 while also finishing well out of the money among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.

CBS recovered in part at 9 p.m., with a first-run hour of Blue Bloods nipping Fox4's Super Bowl XLV-stuffed local newscast in total viewers by a score of 277,028 to 263,177. But Fox4's news called the tune at that hour in the 18-to-49 demographic while Blue Bloods plummeted to fourth.

ABC's new Off the Map medical soap opera, from the creators of Grey's Anatomy, tied for third in total viewers at 9 p.m. with NBC's reprise of Law & Order: SVU. The two series likewise shared the bronze with 18-to-49-year-olds.

In the four-way local news derby competitions, WFAA8 impressively overcame its smallish Off the Map lead-in to ring up twin wins at 10 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 and NBC5 again fought close battles for the 6 a.m. top spots, with the Peacock barely on top in total viewers and Fox4 winning by a sliver with 25-to-54-year-olds. As the February "sweeps" ratings period nears (with a Thursday, Feb. 3rd start date), both WFAA8 and CBS11 appear to be completely out of contention in the early morns.

In the early evening hours, Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. races and added a 6 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers for the third straight weekday.