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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 6) -- bad news for WFAA8

Seldom do WFAA8's local newscasts register goose eggs during a ratings sweeps period.

But that was the hard reality Thursday, with no wins registered in the major four-way battlegrounds at 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

CBS11, on the heels of a huge lead-in advantage from CBS' 9 p.m. episode of The Mentalist, edged WFAA8 for the top spot at 10 p.m. in total viewers. Fox4 jumped from a third-place tie to first place with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. WFAA8 dropped to fourth and still hasn't won in this measurement during the first six weeknights of the May sweeps.

Fox4 also had good news at 6 a.m., where it beat the usually front-running NBC5 in both ratings measurements for the first time since April 19th.

CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers also took the gold at 5 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 ran first at 5 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 had the edge at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast wasn't helped by another lousy lead-in from ABC's Private Practice. On the other hand, the station had decisive lead-in advantages at 5 p.m. from Thursday's preceding edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Still, it dropped to second place in total viewers and ran fourth with just 18,414 viewers in the 25-to-54 age range.

D-FW viewers also are rejecting ABC's once dominant World News now that Diane Sawyer is anchoring. The beneficiary is the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, which used to be a doormat. On Thursday, the Evening News tied NBC's Nightly News for first place in total viewers and won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds. That's a sea change that obviously doesn't help WFAA8's following 6 p.m. newscast.

In Thursday's prime-time Nielsens, CBS' The Mentalist drew the biggest overall crowd, with 380,033 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour. It also won that time period among 18-to-49-year-olds, the key advertiser target audience for non-news programming.

Fox's Bones swept the 7 p.m. competition in those measurements. It was a split decision at 8 p.m., with CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation winning in total viewers while the 18-to-49 spoils went to NBC's The Office from 8 to 8:30 p.m. and Fox's Fringe from 8:30 to 9 p.m.

Also of note: CBS' Survivor: Heroes & Villains ran an across-the-board second at 7 p.m. The show now is down to six competitors, with Texans Colby Donaldson and Russell Hantz both still in the mix for the show's $1 million take-home prize.