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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., April 3) -- bad weather triggers preemptive strikes

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Turbulent North Texas weather, including big hail and tornado sightings, prompted Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 to preempt most of their networks’ prime-time lineups from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

CBS11 showed the first half of a 7 p.m. Big Bang Theory episode, however, before cutting away and staying away. That portion led the prime-time Nielsens with 468,686 D-FW viewers before CBS11’s 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. weather preemption dipped to 312,457 viewers. That was still good enough to win that 15-minute segment before Fox4’s weather coverage moved into first place at 7:30 p.m. and stayed there for the rest of the night.

In head-to-head weather coverage from 8 to 9 p.m., here’s how the four stations ranked in total viewers.

Fox4 -- 276,951
WFAA8 -- 227,242
CBS11 -- 191,735
NBC5 -- 163,330

In fairness, NBC’s prime-time lineup easily is the least-watched on Thursday nights. Some viewers may have gone to a rival station expecting to see their favorite show and then simply stuck with that station’s weather coverage when attractions such as Fox’s American Idol and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy failed to materialize. On the other hand, all a viewer has to do is press a button to go elsewhere.

NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 all resumed network coverage at 9 p.m., respectively showing Parenthood, Scandal and Elementary. But Fox4’s regularly scheduled 9 p.m. newscast won the hour with 305,356 viewers, followed by Scandal (284,052), Elementary (220,140) and Parenthood (85,216).

In the cable universe, SMU’s narrow loss of the NIT championship to Minnesota drew 49,709 viewers on ESPN. Later Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks’ big win on the Los Angeles Clippers’ home floor averaged 92,317 viewers on TNT.

Here are Thursday’s four-way local news derby results.

WFAA8 rolled to 10 p.m. wins n both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 had a doubleheader win at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and NBC5 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

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