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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 28) -- bee sting

ABC's annual attempt to edify the masses in part spelled ratings doom Thursday night in D-FW.

The network's live telecast of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which stretched to 9:18 p.m., averaged just 66,430 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. That was well less than half the crowd for two front-running CBS crime drama repeats -- NCIS (179,361 viewers) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (172,718 viewers).

The Bee then peaked to a reasonably respectable 139,503 viewers in its closing 18 minutes, with Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas taking the trophy by correctly spelling "laodicean." Better late than never for a nice ratings bump.

ABC then showed a Grey's Anatomy repeat in its entirety, pushing WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast to a 10:18 p.m. start. In the reduced three-way late night newscast competition, CBS11 won in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again ran away with both 6 a.m. competitions while also sweeping the 6 p.m. faceoffs. At 5 p.m., Fox4 won in total viewers while the Peacock ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Jay Leno's second-to-last NBC Tonight Show had a not exactly robust 132,860 total viewers. Still, it comfortably won its time slot, in part because CBS' Late Show with David Letterman had a rerun.

In the cable universe, Cleveland's do-or-die win over Orlando in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference championship series averaged 245,791 total viewers on TNT. That included a peak audience of 352,070 viewers between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m.