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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 14) -- it's Leno in a landslide

Bolstered by Kanye West's one-night act of contrition, NBC's premiere of The Jay Leno Show punched out the competition Monday night.

Averaging a whopping 471,653 D-FW viewers and peaking at 518,154 during West's appearance in the closing 15 minutes, Leno had nearly three times the audience of CBS' runnerup CSI: Miami rerun (159,432 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour).

A very nice-sized 248,895 of Leno's viewers were in the 25-to-54 age range, the target demographic for news programming. NBC5's followup 10 p.m. local newscast kept 166,942 of 'em to easily best second place WFAA8, which had 121,412 viewers in the 25-to-54 demographic.

The Peacock also coasted to a 10 p.m. win in total viewers, drawing 325,507 in again besting WFAA8 (239,148 viewers after a comparatively skimpy lead-in from the Dreamgirls movie on ABC).

It's early, of course, and Leno will have to go against first-run programming next week, when the fall season officially starts. Still, these are boffo returns, with NBC also enjoying a runaway win among 18-to-49-year-olds, the favored audience for entertainment programming.

NBC's two-hour America's Got Talent set the table by commanding the 7 to 9 p.m. slot with 318,864 total viewers.

Interestingly, though, CBS' Late Show with David Letterman edged Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show in total viewers despite a sizable lead-in disadvantage. One of the Peacock's bigger fears this season is that viewers will watch Leno at O'Brien's expense. Nationally, Dave has beaten Conan in total viewers for nine straight weeks, but still trails him among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Earlier Monday, Oprah Winfrey's interview with Whitney Houston had 119,574 total viewers in the 4 p.m. hour. That was good enough to edge NBC5's First At Four local newscast and Fox4's double dose of Judge Judy. WFAA8's struggling 5 p.m. newscast then responded with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

In other local news derby results, Fox4 continued its recent comeback at 6 a.m. by beating arch rival NBC5 across the board. The 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Fox4's Good Day also bested the three network morning shows in both measurements.

Fox4 likewise had good news at 6 p.m., where it ran the table. The station has been especially strong in recent weeks among 25-to-54-year-olds, where it's now clearly the station to beat.