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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 9) -- death knell for Hannibal

NBC had high hopes for its very first serial slasher series.

Showtime’s Dexter has had a long, gainful run (which will end this summer) while Fox found its only midseason success story in The Following. But the Peacock’s Hannibal has been bleeding audience faster than its namesake can whip up a sumptuous dinner of human organs. And Thursday’s ratings for Episode 6 surely were proof positive that Lecter’s a goner.

The national Nielsens were bad enough, with Hannibal deeply buried at 9 p.m. in both total viewers and, more importantly, advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. But the D-FW numbers were even more dismal.

On the 18-to-49 scorecard, Hannibal inherited a time-slot winning 98,871 viewers from NBC’s penultimate one-hour episode of The Office. Hannibal then proved to be an immediate and stunning turnoff, drawing a sub-minuscule 6,379 viewers in this key demographic. That buried Hannibal deeply in last place among the Big Four broadcast networks. Its 41,305 total viewers further sealed the coffin. In contrast, CBS’ Elementary won the 9 p.m. slot with 282,252 total viewers.

Earlier in prime-time, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory again dominated the first half-hour of Fox’s American Idol in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. Idol then held off CBS’ Two and a Half Men from 7:30 to 8 p.m. to win that hour across the board.

CBS’ Person of Interest had the most total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour while ABC’s Scandal topped the 18-to-49 numbers at 9 p.m. in a tight fight with Fox4’s local newscast.

Here are the four-way local news derby results for the 11th weekday of the May “sweeps.”

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but WFAA8 was tops among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Put on a starvation diet via its Hannibal lead-in, NBC5 never had a chance. The fourth-place station’s 61,958 total viewers were a stark contrast to front-running CBS11’s 227,179.

Fox4 racked up another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. while NBC5 swept the 5 p.m. competitions. The golds at 6 p.m. went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

NOTE TO READERS: Three nights worth of full immersion in the late night newscasts of Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 have proven to be more than enough. So I’m going to catch up on other stuff and re-visit them again during the November “sweeps” for more brain-taxing, time-consuming editions of “This Just In: A Night in the Lives of D-FW’s Late Night Newscasts.”

It’s instructive to keep tabs on them and see if there’s anything markedly different. But aside from some seemingly solid new reporters working nightside, not much has changed in terms of story choices and presentation. Thanks for your understanding and continued readership.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net