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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., May 8) -- diminished Idol still gets by

Season 12 of Fox’s American Idol is its lowest-rated since Season 1, with reports now circulating that all four of this year’s judges may be dumped in an effort to start completely anew next January.

Still, Wednesday’s latest two-hour performance edition had enough juice to win its 7 to 9 p.m. slot with 344,210 total viewers. CBS’ Survivor: Caramoan and NBC’s one-hour results show for The Voice tied for second place in the first hour with 213,410 viewers each before CBS’ Criminal Minds was the 8 p.m. runner-up with 261,600 viewers.

The 9 p.m. top spot went to CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Its 261,600 viewers easily bested Fox4’s local newscast (192,758). But Idol and Fox4 news easily swept their time slots among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ 4-1 road win at Milwaukee averaged a nice-sized 206,526 total viewers.

Wednesday’s Nielsens also marked the halfway point in the May “sweeps” ratings period. Here are the local news derby results.

CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. CBS11 and WFAA8 are still locked in another of their tight battles for the top spot in total viewers. But WFAA8 remains solidly in front with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 breezed to another doubleheader win at 6 a.m., with both competitions already locked up. The station also won at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 ran first in total viewers at 6 p.m., with NBC5 taking the gold in that measurement at 5 p.m.

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