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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Nov. 16) -- WFAA8 rallying with 4th straight 10 p.m. win

CBS11's bid to win the 10 p.m. news wars for the first time ever could be waylaid by WFAA8's strong second-half run in the ongoing November "sweeps."

The ABC station notched its fourth consecutive weeknight win in total viewers after its network's Castle ran in a virtual 9 p.m. dead heat with CBS' usually more potent CSI: Miami. WFAA8 drew 237,521 total viewers to win by a relatively comfy margin over CBS11 (196,803).

Late night local news ratings were turned upside down, though, among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. NBC5 recorded a rare win in that key measurement, with CBS11 second and WFAA8 sliding to third. Fox4 ran a distant fourth across the board.

The 6 a.m. ratings brought better news for Fox4, which was nipped by the Peacock in total viewers but won among 25-to-54-year-olds for the first time since Wednesday, Nov. 4th.

Fox4 also swept the 5 and 6 p.m. news ratings in the 25-to-54 demographic, but WFAA8 was tops in total viewers at both hours. Oprah Winfrey's interview with Sarah Palin had modest returns at 4 p.m. The show narrowly won its time period against Judge Judy, but its 128,940 total viewers came up short of WFAA8's 5 p.m. local newscast (142,512).

Just seven weekdays remain in the 20-day November sweeps, with the 10 p.m. total viewers battle still way too close to call. The 25-to-54 race isn't over yet either.

WFAA8 and CBS11 also will have to decide whether to "throw out" the last night of the sweeps, Wednesday, Nov. 25th. That's the day before Thanksgiving, with stations often opting to take the "Holiday" designation on a heavy travel day. It might depend on the weather. If it's lousy, both stations might be tempted to make Nov. 25th count in the overall sweeps standings. Bad weather days tend to be ratings magnets, and no one wants to end up looking like a turkey by counting out a potentially potent newscast.

In Monday's prime-time results, ABC's Dancing with the Stars controlled the 7 to 9 p.m. slot in total viewers. But ESPN's Monday Night Football (Ravens vs. Browns) won among 18-to-49-year-olds, the favored advertiser target audience for non-news programming. And from 8 to 9 p.m., Dancing also trailed CBS' comedy combo of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

At 9 p.m., Castle nipped CSI: Miami in total viewers, with the order of finish reversed among 18-to-49-year-olds.