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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Sept. 29th) -- Defenders beats LOLA in first new season faceoff

Jimmy gets his torch snuffed on Survivor: Nicaragua. Photo: Ed Bark

CBS swept the prime-time total viewer ratings in D-FW Wednesday, capped by a notably strong showing from the second episode of The Defenders.

In a considerable upset, the second episode of the Jim Belushi legal drama outdrew the premiere of NBC's Law & Order: Los Angeles during the 9 p.m. hour.

Defenders had 290,879 total viewers while the second place LOLA had 228,548. Defenders also beat LOLA among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. The second episode of ABC's competing The Whole Truth finished third in total viewers and fell to fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds behind Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast.

CBS led off the night with Jimmy Johnson's eviction on Survivor: Nicaragua. He probably erred by tabbing himself as one of his tribe's weakest members during the weekly Tribal Council. They responded by unanimously voting him off, making JJ the show's third evictee in a field of 20.

Survivor won the 7 p.m. slot in total viewers, edging Fox's Hell's Kitchen. But HK was a runaway winner with 18-to-49-year-olds. NBC's second episode of Undercovers beat only ABC's new Better With You in total viewers. It then fell to a distant fifth among 18-to-49-year-olds, with The CW's America's Next Top Model sliding into fourth.

CBS' Criminal Minds controlled the 8 p.m. hour in total viewers. It again was a different story with 18-to-49-year-olds, though. ABC's comedy combo of Modern Family and Cougar Town ran a resounding first in that key demographic, with the second hour of HK tying Criminal Minds for second.

In Wednesday's local news derby results, CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers and tied Fox4 for first among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.

WFAA8 continued to perform better in the early morning, tying Fox4 for the top spot in total viewers and running second with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 took the 25-to-54 gold and also crunched the three network morning programs with the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its Good Day. A lately slumping NBC5 ran third at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements while CBS11 again was out of the picture.

CBS ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers, but the other early evening news competitions were won by Fox4. It edged CBS11 at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds and ran the table at 5 p.m.

Also of note: The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is no longer a doormat in D-FW. Its numbers have notably improved since Diane Sawyer began anchoring ABC's World News. In Wednesday's Nielsens, Evening News tied the NBC Nightly News for first in total viewers and shared the 25-to-54 gold with Fox4's 5:30 p.m. local newscast.