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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Jan. 19) -- Idol nips Big Bang; The Firm on fumes

Thursday's second episode of Fox's American Idol took a sizable viewer dip but had just enough pop to outdraw CBS' competing The Big Bang Theory.

From 7 to 7:30 p.m., the first half of Idol had 429,478 D-FW viewers while Big Bang drew 424,059. CBS' following Rob then dropped to 304,835 viewers, with the 7:30 to 8 p.m. portion of Idol ticking up a bit to 440,317. Wednesday's two-hour Idol averaged 562,250 viewers.

Idol had an easier time Thursday among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, winning by wider margins against both CBS sitcoms. Opposite Big Bang, the margin was 204,947 viewers to 153,710.

CBS easily won from 8 to 10 p.m. in total viewers. Its surging Person of Interest had 379,350 total viewers while Fox's new The Finder fell to third behind ABC's Grey's Anatomy with well less than half that haul (169,353). The Mentalist mopped up with 345,479 viewers, thrashing ABC's runnerup Private Practice (149,030).

ABC countered, however, with 18-to-49 wins for both Grey's and Practice. NBC's 9 p.m. entry, The Firm, continued to sag with fourth place finishes in both ratings measurements. It had just 88,063 total viewers.

Thursday's local news derby results went like this. CBS11 capitalized on CBS' potent Mentalist win to win big at 10 p.m. with 250,642 total viewers compared to second place WFAA8's 128,708. But Fox4 edged CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions while adding a 6 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first at 6 p.m. in total viewers.