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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Sept. 4) -- polar opposite viewing patterns for first night of Dem convention

Ratings for Tuesday's first night of the Democratic National Convention underscored the ridiculously partisan times in which we live.

Fox News Channel, a runaway No. 1 in D-FW during last week's Republican gathering, fell to third place even in the cable universe. And the Texas Rangers 6-3 loss at Kansas City nonetheless had almost enough kick to outdraw the combined Dem convention audience on ABC, CBS and NBC, all of which started their engines at 9 p.m.

Let's look at the 9 to 10 p.m. "window" in which seven broadcast and cable networks went head-to-head against the final innings of the Rangers game. First Lady Michelle Obama went a bit long, until 10:04 p.m., with ABC, CBS and NBC all bailing by 10:06 p.m. or earlier. So we'll stick to the one-hour convention coverage window after noting that the Rangers-Royals ended at 9:49 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest.

The entire game averaged 223,545 viewers, making it the most-watched attraction in prime-time. From 9 to 10 p.m. (Nielsen measures in 15-minute increments) the Rangers game and 11 minutes worth of FSS's post-game show had 189,675 viewers despite a significant dip from 9:45 to 10 p.m. That dented the 9 to 10 p.m. average and enabled ABC, CBS and NBC to edge the Rangers with their combined audience of 203,223 viewers.

Here are the 9 to 10 p.m. convention ratings:

ABC/NBC/CNN -- 74,515 viewers apiece
MSNBC -- 67,741 viewers
PBS/FNC -- 60,967 viewers
CBS -- 54,193 viewers

On opening night of the Republican convention, FNC had 189,675 viewers from 9 to 10 p.m., more than tripling the audience for any individual competing network. CNN had just 27,096 viewers and MSNBC, 20,322.

The stark partisan divide between left-leaning MSNBC and right-leaning FNC ("leaning" is being charitable) shows up crystal clear in the ratings for the two parties' conventions. MSNBC outdrew three networks with its Democratic convention coverage after finishing last among all networks on the Republicans' first night. After rolling with the Republicans, FNC beat only CBS on the first night of the Democrats.

Elsewhere Tuesday, the debut of the new Live! with Kelly and Michael (Strahan) easily won its 9 a.m. time slot on Fox4 with 101,612 viewers. It also ran a comfortable first among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox's 7 p.m. hour of Hell's Kitchen was the prime-time runner-up to the Rangers with 203,223 total viewers. And Fox4 again profited from having its local 9 p.m. newscast opposite the convention coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC. Fox4 had 149,030 viewers, doubling the individual audiences for both ABC and NBC.

During WFAA8's 6:30 p.m. Cowboys Kickoff Special, WFAA8 anchor Dale Hansen told a mock Jerry Jones (voiced and lipped by comedian Gordon Keith), "I have a feeling nobody is seeing this right now."

He was a bit off. The special had 81,289 total viewers to run fourth in its time slot opposite CBS11's Wheel of Fortune (209,997 viewers); Fox4's Access Hollywood (101,612) and MY27's repeat of The Big Bang Theory (94,837).

Here are Tuesday's four-way local news derby numbers.

WFAA8 topped the 10 p.m. field in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4, NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first place at 6 a.m. in total viewers while Fox4 and the Peacock shared the 25-to-54 lead.

The 5 and 6 p.m. wins among 25-to-54-year-olds went to Fox4. WFAA8 won in total viewers at 5 p.m. and NBC5 finished first in that measurement at 6 p.m.