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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 18) -- Olympics hold off Idol while Fallon stays strong

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American Idol’s latest wrinkle, a three-night “Rush Week,” fell short of NBC’s Olympics coverage Tuesday night while other rival networks mostly stuck it to viewers with repeats during the waning days of the February “sweeps.”

Fox’s Idol drew 255,647 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., with 113,985 of them in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 motherlode. The Winter Games had respective totals of 447,382 and 192,145 viewers in those two hours. The Peacock’s entire 7 to 10:30 p.m. Olympics package averaged 433,179 total viewers, with 195,402 in the 18-to-49 age range.

CBS again offered wall-to-wall repeats while ABC’s only first-run competing program was a 9 p.m. burn-off of Killer Women, which has been canceled.

The late night wars were all-new, though, with NBC’s second edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon again crushing the opposition despite starting at 11 p.m. instead of 10:35 p.m.

Tonight had 170,431 total viewers from 11 p.m. to midnight, with more than half of them (100,958) in the coveted 18-to-49 age range. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! ran a very distant second with 49,709 total viewers and 13,027 in the 18-to-49 measurement. CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman slogged in with 35,507 total viewers and just 9,770 in the 18-to-49 range. Those are surprisingly big blowouts, although the first real tests will come next week when the Olympics are over and all three shows are lined up at 10:35 p.m.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results, with six weekdays now remaining in the Olympics-skewed February sweeps.

Fox4 swept the downsized 10 p.m. race in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The station added a doubleheader win at 6 a.m. and also won at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The total viewer golds at 5 and 6 p.m. respectively went to NBC5 and CBS11.

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