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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 26)

It'll still be close, but it looks like it's over.

Fox4's Good Day had decisive twin wins over WFAA8's Daybreak Tuesday in what's been a piping hot 6 a.m. news race. That should be enough for Fox4 to defend its ratings title and win for a third straight sweeps period in both total homes and among advertiser-favored 25-to-to-54-year-olds.

Good Day beat Daybreak by a full rating point in total homes and won by a wider margin in the 25-to-54 demo. With just Wednesday left to be counted in the February competition, only a mega-meltdown would keep Good Day from successfully capping a second-half sweeps rally against a very formidable Daybreak. The margin of victory will be pencil-thin, though, and for the most part statistically insignificant. But it does ensure bragging rights in on-air promos.

Meanwhile, WFAA8 can swell its chest at 10 p.m., where its newscasts continue to thrash the competition. Tuesday's Nielsens saw WFAA8 rolling up 299,579 homes in more than doubling the audience for its nearest competitor (CBS11 with 141,265 homes). The ABC station made an equally big splash with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 10 p.m. battle for second place in total homes is still alive, though, with NBC5 and CBS11 arm-wrestling to the end. The Peacock slipped to fourth place in that measurement Tuesday, opening the door for a big CBS11 finish.

WFAA again ran the table at 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday; it has long had those races wrapped up.

In prime-time, the premiere of NBC's quarterlife, which originated as a series of Internet "web-isodes," ran a flat-footed fourth at 9 p.m. in total homes (51,148). It did, however, nip another dead issue, CBS' Jericho, among 18-to-49-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for entertainment programming. But both network show were trounced in that demo, even running a bit behind CW33's 9 p.m. newscast.

The 9 p.m. hour was controlled by Fox4's local newscast in total homes, but ABC's competing, semi-newsy Prime Time: What Would You Do? won among both 18-to-49-year-olds and 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox controlled the 7 to 9 p.m. terrain with a 90-minute American Idol (399,438 homes) and a new episode of the returning Back to You (231,382 homes).

In the cable universe, MSNBC's Ohio debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drew an impressive 94,988 D-FW homes to dominate the three-way news channel competition. Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes drew just 26,792 homes opposite the debate. And Larry King likely has more suspenders than the 9,742 homes tuned to his show.