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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 15-16)

ABC's Life on Mars looked more like a death star in Thursday's D-FW ratings, plunging from last week's impressive opening returns.

CBS' competing Eleventh Hour in comparison pogo-sticked to the top spot at 9 p.m. after Mars attacked it on the previous Thursday.

Here's a look at how they ran from week to week in the total homes Nielsens:


Eleventh Hour -- 207,026 homes
Life on Mars -- 168,056 homes


Life on Mars -- 241,124 homes
Eleventh Hour -- 160,750 homes

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, Eleventh Hour tied Life on Mars Thursday night, with both series drawing 91,449 of Madison Avenue's most sought after viewers. On the previous Thursday, Life on Mars drubbed Eleventh Hour by a score of 148,210 to 72,528.

NBC's now sickly ER, in its 15th and final season, ran third at 9 p.m. in both ratings measurements.

In the battle between 8 p.m. potentates, CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation drew Thursday's largest audience (250,877 homes). But ABC's Grey's Anatomy was just a nose behind with 248,431 homes. That's a statistically insignificant gap.

In the previous Thursday's D-FW ratings, the ninth season premiere of CSI coasted to first place with 304,450 homes. Grey's Anatomy ran a distant second (226,511 homes).

The second episode of NBC's new Kath & Kim had 94,988 homes in the 7:30 p.m. slot, down from the premiere's less than imposing 116,909 homes. K&K also lost ground with 18-to-49-year-olds in running third behind the closing half hours of ABC's Ugly Betty and CBS' Survivor: Gabon.

Wednesday's prime-time hours were mostly chewed up by the third and final presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. ABC's coverage again topped the field, averaging 194,848 D-FW homes in outpointing NBC (163,185 homes) and CBS (131,522 homes). (Ratings for the cable networks' debate coverage were not immediately available.)

On to the local news derbies, where WFAA8 again dominated at 10 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. The ABC station ran the table in both total homes and with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

In the still turbulent early morning competition, the Peacock crowed at 6 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. NBC5 swept both days' competitions, with WFAA8 and Fox4 trading seconds and thirds.

WFAA8 took the 6 p.m. golds on Wednesday and also ran first in total homes on Thursday. But NBC5 punched WFAA8 into an unaccustomed second place Thursday in the fight for 25-to-54-year-olds.

Wednesday's 5 p.m. victories went to WFAA8, which also won on Thursday in total homes. Again, though, NBC5 took the top spot Thursday among 25-to-54-year-olds.