Marriage Ref, go mental instead | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., March 11) -- viewers divorce themselves from Marriage Ref, go mental instead

NBC's The Marriage Ref improved on its dinky 30 Rock lead-in Thursday, but still trailed the Big Four broadcast network field in the 9 p.m. hour.

CBS' The Mentalist instead came up really big, amassing 481,827 D-FW viewers compared to No. 4 Marriage Ref's 142,512. Ref upped itself to third place with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, beating Fox4's 9 p.m. newscast.

The overall Mentalist haul was bigger than American Idol's, which evicted four more hopefuls to the tune of 454,682 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. Still, Fox's Idol still easily led all Thursday attractions in the 18-to-49 demographic.

New episodes of CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and ABC's Grey's Anatomy again traded punches at 8 p.m., with CSI prevailing in total viewers and Grey's with 18-to-49-year-olds. But NBC's The Office won in that age range during the 8 to 8:30 p.m. slot before 30 Rock dive-bombed down to fourth place in this key demo.

Yawn, Jay Leno whipped David Letterman again in all significant audience barometers. He hasn't lost in D-FW since they resumed their warfare on March 1st.

In local news derby results, CBS11 and WFAA split the golds at 10 p.m. CBS11 cruised in total viewers, but WFAA8 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds, the favored target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again ran the table at 6 a.m., where it hasn't been beaten in either ratings measurement since Feb. 24th.

Fox4 swept the 5 and 6 p.m. news competitions among 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 had a relatively comfy 6 p.m. win in total viewers while WFAA8 beat NBC5 by a smidgen at 5 p.m.

Here's another local news note of note. Although the numbers are small, CW33's 5:30 p.m. newscast (it'll go to an hour next week) beat all three network evening newscasts among 18-to-49-year-olds. And it trailed front-running Fox4 by just 8,480 viewers in this demographic.

The key target audience for news programming is still 25-to-54-year-olds. But you're pretty much dead to The CW once you hit 40 (actually, make that 34).

So for the first time in these spaces, let's credit a CW33 newscast with having at least a wee bit of momentum -- even without any HD in the tank. That's supposedly coming relatively soon. But with its newscasts still a comparative blur, CW33 is regularly outdrawing at least one network evening newscast each weeknight in the 18-to-49 scheme of things. And on Thursday it hit the trifecta.