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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Thurs., Jan. 26-28) -- debate thumps Trump, beats all

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox News Channel’s Donald Trump-less Republican presidential candidate debate did quite nicely for itself in D-FW Thursday night, ranking as the No. 1 program in total viewers and running second only to Fox’s American Idol with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

Airing from 8 to 10 p.m., the debate averaged 354,120 viewers and 88,920 in the 18-to-49 age range compared to Idol’s respective marks of 269,131 and 114,325 viewers.

Trump’s competing, hastily arranged benefit for veterans didn’t start until 8:15 p.m., with CNN and MSNBC carrying it live for the first minutes or so. From 8:15 to 8:30 p.m., Trump had 56,659 total viewers on CNN and 42,494 on MSNBC. In the 18-to-49 demographic, Trump drew 31,757 viewers on CNN and 6,351 on MSNBC. CNN then brought analysts in to mostly talk over Trump while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ripped the Republican frontrunner. Interestingly, CNN had more total viewers for its 9:15 to 9:30 p.m. pontificator segment (70,824) than for the opening Trump speech.

(Nationally, the debate ranked the second lowest among all of the Republican candidate encounters, with roughly 11 million total viewers, according to early data. Fox News Channel’s first GOP debate, back in August, still holds this campaign season’s high mark of 25 million viewers. CNN’s initial Republican debate almost matched it with 23 million viewers nationally. Trump participated in both of those.)

Back to the D-FW Nielsens, where NBC’s 7 p.m. premiere of You, Me and the Apocalypse ran third in that hour among the Big Four broadcast networks with 141,648 total viewers. It moved up to second among 18-to-49-year-olds with 66,690 viewers, although the competition included repeats of CBS’ potent twosome of The Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces.

Wednesday’s prime-time parade was paced by the one-hour 7 p.m. edition of Idol, which easily led all programming in both total viewers (325,790) and 18-to-49-year-olds (101,622).

On Tuesday night, CBS’ 7 p.m. repeat of NCIS nonetheless ranked as prime-time’s No. 1 overall draw with 254,966 total viewers. But NBC’s 9 p.m. new episode of Chicago Fire was the top draw among 18-to-49-year-olds (57,163).

Here are the local news derby results.

Tuesday -- TEGNA8 led at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 had the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. In the 6 p.m. races, TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers, but TEGNA8 had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

Wednesday -- Fox4 ran the table at 10 p.m. and breezed to another pair of comfy wins at 6 a.m.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m., but TEGNA8 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5 p.m. wins went to the Peacock in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54-year-old realm.

Thursday -- Fox4 won at 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in the key 25-to-54 demographic. The station also again had the most total viewers at 6 a.m.

TEGNA8, trampolining off another starvation lead-in from the season finale of My Diet Is Better Than Yours, edged NBC5 for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. The 5 and 6 p.m. firsts in total viewers respectively went to TEGNA8 and CBS11.

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