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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Sept. 4)

The Republican convention closed shop Thursday night on a predictable ratings downer.

Few thought that presidential nominee John McCain could match or beat the audience for the previous night's speech by running mate Sarah Palin. And in D-FW, he didn't.

McCain's acceptance address lingered a bit past prime-time to 10:04 p.m., with the Big Three broadcast networks all sticking around a little longer before signing off by 10:11 p.m. Nielsen measures audiences in 15-minute increments, so here are the seven-way convention audience averages from 9 to 10:15 p.m.

ABC -- 163,185 homes
FNC -- 153,443 homes
NBC -- 136,394 homes
PBS -- 99,860 homes
CBS -- 77,939 homes
CNN -- 73,068 homes
MSNBC -- 41,405 homes.

That totals 672,300 homes compared to the 718,501 homes for Palin. That's pretty close, but no victory cigar for the head of the GOP ticket. Has a veep speech ever outdrawn a bossman's at any national convention held by either party? Probably not, although McCain following Palin was like Buddy Ebsen trying to top Shirley Temple. It just wasn't in the cards.

Also in the cable universe, the first of Bill O'Reilly's four-part interview with Barack Obama drew 107,166 D-FW homes from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. That was good enough to win the time period against everything except the second hour of NBC's Giants-Redskins NFL season kickoff (263,045 homes) and Univision 23's Al Diablo con Los Guapos (136,394 homes).

In the local news derby, the delayed 10 p.m. newscasts again don't count.

At 6 a.m., Fox4 notched another win in total homes, but WFAA8 took the gold among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 won at 5 p.m. in both ratings measurements and WFAA8 did likewise at 6 p.m. in a downsized three-way race in which the Peacock kicked off the NFL season at an early start time in order to carry McCain's speech at the appointed 9 p.m. hour.