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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., May 24) -- special storm edition

The storms hit the fans -- and fans of high voltage network programming -- with a mish-mash of weather coverage and pre-emptions Tuesday night.

We have a detailed account here of who did what, when and where. But ratings-wise, the night's two overall top performers were Fox4 and WFAA8.

Fox4 led off by airing the season's final performance edition of American Idol, with some weather updates included. It was the night's most-watched program, with a whopping 678,719 D-FW viewers. CBS11, which preempted most of CBS' NCIS repeat with storm coverage, ran third from 7 to 8 p.m. with 242,400 viewers, whipping NBC5's combo of the Biggest Loser: Couples finale and weather updates (186,994 viewers) while trailing WFAA8's mix of a Dancing with the Stars warmup hour and weather alerts (304,731 viewers).

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, whose safety and well-being is of prime importance to advertisers, Idol easily had the most viewers, followed in order by Dancing, Biggest Loser and CBS11's weather coverage.

NBC5 had the most total viewers from 8 to 9 p.m., primarily because of a big spike in its audience level in the final 15 minutes. The Peacock averaged 588,685 viewers for weather coverage that knocked out the last hour of Biggest Loser. WFAA8 ran second, drawing 498,650 viewers for its mix of the first hour of ABC's Dancing with the Stars finale and weathercaster Pete Delkus' appearances during commercial breaks and sometimes during the show itself. Fox4, which preempted almost all of Glee for continuous weather coverage, ran a close third with 484,799 viewers. CBS11's weather coverage trailed the field with 367,062 viewers.

NBC5 also paced the 8 to 9 p.m. slot with 18-to-49-year-olds, followed by Fox4, WFAA8 and CBS11.

The 9 to 10 p.m. hour went to WFAA8, which continued with its mix of Delkus and Dancing. It had 616,387 total viewers, with Fox4's local newscast second (512,502 viewers). NBC5 went to NBC's The Voice, which ran third with 457,096 viewers ahead of CBS11's third hour of weather coverage (401,691 viewers). CW33's 9 p.m. local newscast had one of its biggest audiences in recent memory. But that still only amounted to 69,257 viewers. The order of finish with 18-to-to-49-year-olds was Fox4, WFAA8, NBC5, CBS11 and CW33.

All four of the 10 p.m. local newscasts had inflated storm-fueled ratings, even against the closing half-hour of an overtime Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls playoff game that drew a very nice-sized 408,616 total viewers on TNT. WFAA8 led with 526,353 viewers, easily its biggest late night news audience in recent months. Fox4 was second in the newscast competition with 394,764 viewers, followed by CBS11 (297,805) and NBC5 (235,474).

WFAA8 also ran away with the 10 p.m. race for 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. It had 288,923 viewers in this age range, trailed by Fox4 (214,362); CBS11 (164,655) and NBC5 (118,055).

Earlier Tuesday, Part 2 of Oprah's Farewell Surprise Spectacular controlled the 4 to 5 p.m. slot with 290,879 total viewers. That propelled WFAA8's 5 p.m. local newscast to wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 also swept the 6 p.m. Nielsens.

Fox4 as usual was master of the 6 a.m. domain, scoring twin wins to further pad its May "sweeps" lead over NBC5. The four-week ratings period, last of the 2010-'11 TV season, ends Wednesday.