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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Sept. 21) -- X Factor opens solidly but not spectacularly

Exultant over the boffo ratings for Tuesday's premiere of its new comedy New Girl, Fox came down to earth a bit with Wednesday's saturation-promoted, two-hour launch of Simon Cowell's The X Factor.

The splashy talent search managed to win its time slot with an average of 360,136 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. But ABC's one-hour premiere of Modern Family was narrowly No. 1 from 8 to 9 p.m. among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. And X Factor's total viewer margin for that second hour was hardly imposing. Here's how it broke down:

X Factor -- 387,839 total viewers
Modern Family -- 373,988
Criminal Minds (CBS) -- 318,582
Harry's Law (NBC) -- 235,474

X Factor handily controlled the 7 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements, though. But its ratings were nowhere near Idol-like, giving Fox reason to worry whether Thursday's second two-hour edition might drop after a less than spectacular opening night.

At 9 p.m., CBS' venerable CSI: Crime Scene Investigation performed well on a new night and with Ted Danson newly added. It drew 277,028 total viewers in turning back competition from Fox4's still potent local newscast (221,622), ABC's new Revenge (214,697) and NBC's Law & Order: SVU (200,845).

CSI also won among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Revenge falling to fourth place and SVU vaulting to second.

The second episodes of NBC's Up All Night and Free Agents ran fourth in total viewers from 7 to 8 p.m. Up All Night improved to third place with 18-to-49-year-olds -- beating the first half-hour of ABC's The Middle -- while Free Agents remained fourth.

Wednesday's local news derby results went like this: WFAA8 and CBS11 tied for the 10 p.m. lead in total viewers but Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept both the 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. competitions. At 5 p.m., CBS11 had the total viewers win and tied Fox4 for first place with 25-to-54-year-olds.