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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 24) -- Fox, CBS again split spoils

Thursday marked yet another mostly dominant day at the prime-time office for Fox and CBS.

A 7 to 9 p.m. edition of American Idol, in which the semi-finalist field of 24 came into view, drew 567,907 total D-FW viewers while also romping with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. That marked a considerable fall-off from the previous night's 713,347 viewers. But that two-hour shebang was loaded with performances of Beatles songs from Vegas.

A new episode of CBS' The Big Bang Theory put up a decent fight from 7 to 7:30 p.m. with 401,691 total viewers. The newly transplanted Rules of Engagement then fell to 207,771 viewers in pretty much replicating the substandard performance from an evicted $#*! My Dad Says.

CBS won the 9 p.m. hour with The Mentalist, which matched Big Bang's haul of 401,691 viewers in outpointing Fox4's runner-up local newscast (242,400). NBC again mostly played dead all night, with only The Office drawing more than 100,000 viewers among its six-pack of sitcoms.

In local news derby results, CBS11 pretty much wrapped up a 10 p.m. February "sweeps" victory in total viewers by again whipping WFAA8. But CBS11 again had a considerable audience fall-off from its Mentalist lead-in while WFAA8 increased its 10 p.m. audience a bit from what it received from ABC's Private Practice.

WFAA8 prevailed at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, though, where the race remains very close in this main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 cruised at 6 a.m. with another doubleheader sweep. The early evening newscast competitions were Fox4/CBS11 battlegrounds. The two stations tied for first place in total viewers at 5 p.m. while CBS11 had the 6 p.m. gold to itself in that measurement. Fox4 countered with 5 and 6 p.m. wins in the 25-to-54 demographic.