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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., April 13-15)

Severe storm coverage sent ratings through the roof early Friday night on D-FW's four major news providers. Then a half-hour power outage knocked Fox4 off the air and down for the count.

Audiences peaked between 6:45 and 7:15 p.m. on Belo8, NBC5 and CBS11, with Fox4 pretty much falling off the map by 7 p.m. after losing its picture a bit earlier. Here's the way it looked:

6:45 to 7 p.m.
Belo8 -- 414,120 homes
NBC5 -- 357,000
Fox4 -- 233,240
CBS11 -- 216,580

7 to 7:15 p.m.
Belo8 -- 421,260
NBC5 -- 409,360
CBS11 -- 192,780
Fox4 -- 16,600

Fox4 had returned to the air well before 8 p.m., but its ratings never fully recovered. At that same hour, NBC5 ended its continuous storm coverage in favor of the Peacock's new Raines series and a Law & Order repeat.

In contrast, Belo8, CBS11 and Fox4 completely scrapped their entertainment lineups, with the latter station dumping out of the Fox network movie White Chicks before going to its regularly scheduled 9 p.m. local newscast. Here's the way the Nielsen numbers played out:

8 to 9 p.m.
Belo8 storm coverage -- 209,440 homes
Raines -- 166,600
CBS11 storm coverage -- 159,460
Fox4 storm coverage -- 90,440

9 to 10 p.m.
Belo8 storm coverage -- 157,080 homes
Law & Order -- 142,800
CBS11 storm coverage -- 140,420
Fox4 storm coverage -- 114,240

A competing Dallas Mavericks home game against the Utah Jazz averaged 138,040 homes Friday night. The Dallas Stars' late night Stanley Cup playoff game against Vancouver lured 45,220 homes to Fox Sports Southwest. A Texas Rangers road game at Seattle did slightly better on Ch. 27, drawing 47,600 homes directly opposite the Stars.

In Friday's regularly scheduled local news battles, NBC5 won at 10 p.m. in both homes and with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

The Peacock also won at 6 a.m. in homes, but fell to second behind Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demo.

Belo8 won at 5 and 6 p.m. in homes. Otherwise NBC5 placed first with 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m., with Fox4 on top with that audience at 6 p.m.

Sunday was event-full, too, with the Mavs-Spurs on ABC going directly against the closing two-and-half hours of Fox's Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hoops prevailed, drawing 164,220 homes to the Nextel Cup's 138,040 homes from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The Mavericks won by a much wider margin among 18-to-49-year-olds, the favored target audience for non-news programming.

D-FW's pro sports also-rans again were Sunday night's Stars-Canucks on FSS (73,780 homes) and the afternoon Rangers-Mariners game on Ch. 27 ( 37,700 homes).

In prime-time, Fox's heavily promoted two-hour premiere of Drive blew a piston on its first lap, finishing with a measly 54,740 homes in D-FW. The night's biggest entertainment draw, a new episode of ABC's Desperate Housewives, had 252,280 homes.