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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 10) -- viewers flock to severe weather coverage

NBC5's decision to stick with Dateline in the face of Tuesday's severe D-FW weather left it in a ratings ditch from 9 to 10 p.m.

While Fox4, WFAA8 and CBS11 went into super storm modes, the Peacock aired Ann Curry's extended interview with controversial "octa-mom" Nadya Suleman. Its weather coverage was confined to commercial breaks. Here's how it played out in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

CBS11 weather coverage (in place of Without A Trace) -- 425,152
Fox4's 9 p.m. newscast (with wall-to-wall weather coverage) -- 405,223
WFAA8's weather coverage (in place of ABC's True Beauty) -- 259,077
Dateline -- 205,933

Fox4's 9 p.m. news -- 233,718
CBS11 weather coverage -- 185,153
WFAA8 weather coverage -- 127,483
Dateline -- 118,377

Footnote: "The 33's" 9 p.m. local newscast wasn't much of a player with just 33,215 viewers for the hour. But a pretty high percentage -- 24,282 -- were in the 25-to-54 age range.

WFAA8 recovered at 10 p.m. to top the four-way local newscast field with 345,436 total viewers and 179,083 in the 25-to-54 age range. CBS11 ran a close second in total viewers (332,150) while Fox4 was the runnerup with 25-to-54-year-olds (154,800). NBC5 ran last in both measurements.

Earlier Tuesday night, Fox's American Idol won as usual at 7 p.m. with 544,726 total viewers to hold off CBS' competing NCIS (418,509 viewers).

But the tables turned at 8 p.m., where CBS' The Mentalist gave CBS11 an Idol-like lead-in (544,726 viewers) for its 9 p.m. weather coverage while Fox's Fringe drooped to a distant second with 212,576 viewers. ABC's back-to-back episodes of Scrubs barely registered with 79,716 viewers apiece while the second hour of NBC's The Biggest Loser weighed in third with 205,933 viewers.

The Peacock otherwise had a big day in the other three local newscast competitions. For the first time in recent memory, NBC5 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. Nielsens in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. That hasn't happened since unclebarky.com booted up on Sept. 17, 2006. So congrats.