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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 4) -- WFAA8 takes lead in mini-10 p.m. sweeps sprint

WFAA8 bucked a big lead-in disadvantage to sweep the 10 p.m. newscast ratings on opening night of the February "sweeps."

It'll be a relatively short race, though, at least in the late night news wars. That's because NBC's Winter Olympics telecasts kick in on Friday, Feb. 12th, pushing NBC5's 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts out of the picture until Monday, March 1st.

The presumably potent Olympics also will probably downsize audiences for the 10 p.m. editions on Fox4, WFAA8 and CBS11. But from Feb. 4-11 the race is on, with six weeknights fully in play.

WFAA8's Thursday late-nighter drew 251,093 D-FW viewers in out-punching runnerup CBS11 (223,948 viewers). That's a deflating performance for CBS11, which inherited 434,323 viewers from the last 15 minutes of CBS' The Mentalist while WFAA8 got 257,879 from ABC's Private Practice.

WFAA8 also won at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox's Bones opened big at 7 p.m., with its 271,452 total viewers doubling the audience for ABC's runnerup The Deep End (135,726 viewers).

ABC's Grey's Anatomy (380,033 viewers) then won the 8 p.m. hour in another heavyweight matchup with CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (318,956 viewers).

In other local news derby results, Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. for the second weekday in a row against archrival NBC5. The 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Fox4's Good Day then handily beat the three network morning shows.

The early evening golds were split. Fox4 won at 5 p.m. in both ratings measurements. WFAA8 topped the 6 p.m. total viewers Nielsens while NBC5 ran first at that hour with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The prime-time local news numbers again were dispiriting for both TXA21 and CW33.

TXA21 had just 13,573 total viewers for both the 7 and 8 p.m. hours. CW33 fell to 20,359 viewers after inheriting 88,222 from the last 15 minutes of The CW network's Supernatural.