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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 21)

Tuesdays still mostly belong to CBS and ABC, with Fox making some noise among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds while NBC's prime-time lineup impersonates a corpse on a slab.

At 7 p.m., CBS' NCIS won overwhelmingly in D-FW. Its imposing 267,916 homes homes swamped ABC's second-place Dancing with the Stars recap (163,185 homes) and Fox's House (148,572 homes).

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, though, House nipped NCIS, with Dancing slipping on a banana peel and falling to an out-of-contention third.

ABC's live Dancing results show then rose to the top at 8 p.m., but not by much. Its 245,996 homes barely held off CBS' new The Mentalist (226,511 homes).

Fox's new Fringe ran a very distant third at 8 p.m. with just 92,553 D-FW homes. It stayed in that spot among 18-to-49-year-olds while The Mentalist fell all the way to fourth. Dancing easily topped the 18-to-49 demo, with the second hour of NBC's The Biggest Loser squeaking into second place.

A first-rate episode of ABC's Eli Stone, buoyed by Katie Holmes' standout guest star performance, fought to a total homes tie at 9 p.m. with CBS' Without A Trace. Both drew 172,928 homes.

Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast, which ran third in total homes, spring-boarded to first place among 18-to-49-year-olds, edging Eli Stone.

A new episode of NBC's formerly ratings rich Law & Order: SVU burrowed into fourth place in total homes and beat Without A Trace by just one-tenth of a rating point (3,154 viewers) in the 18-to-49 competition.

Over on TXA21, the Dallas Mavericks' home pre-season game against the Chicago Bulls drew 53,583 homes. The Mavs blew a 23-point lead in what hopefully isn't a preview of coming attractions when the new season begins on Oct. 30th. Oddly enough, the November "sweeps" ratings competition also kicks off on that date.

That takes us to Tuesday's local news ratings battles, which had an unusual number of first place ties.

Not at 10 p.m., though, where seemingly invincible WFAA8 again pounded mega-bumps on all-comers. Its 260,609 homes nearly doubled the total of runnerup CBS11 (141,265), even though the two stations had virtually identical lead-ins from the 9:45 to 10 p..m. portions of their networks' drama series.

WFAA8 won even bigger at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The ABC station drew 194,337 of 'em, with runnerup NBC5 managing 85,391.

The 6 a.m. races ended in two ties. Fox4 and NBC5 shared first place in total homes while the Peacock and WFAA8 were both tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

WFAA8 won at 6 p.m. in total homes, and tied for first in the 25-to-54 demo with NBC5.

At 5 p.m., WFAA8 edged Fox4 for first place in total homes, with the two stations tying among 25-to-54-year-olds.