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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Aug. 5) -- despite remote possibilities, lead-ins still matter

Remote control capabilities were supposed to change the way people watch TV. No longer do most viewers have to laboriously rise from their couches to change channels. Just push a button from a seated position.

No matter. The size of a network lead-in still very much matters. Our tutorials are Tuesday's and Wednesday's local 10 p.m. newscasts.

As noted in the previous "Snapshot," NBC5 coasted to a dominating late news win Tuesday after NBC's America's Got Talent amassed 391,937 D-FW viewers in its closing 15 minutes (9:45 to 10 p.m.). The station's 10 p.m. newscast held on to 259,077 of those viewers in squelching runnersup Fox4 and WFAA8 (139,503 viewers apiece). CBS11 limped in fourth with 99,645 viewers, actually an improvement from its very smallish Medium lead-in (79,716 viewers).

On Wednesday night, it was CBS11's turn to rise to the top after a network repeat of CSI: NY dominated the competition and bequeathed 245,791 viewers from 9:45 to 10 p.m. CBS11's 10 p.m. news pretty much held serve by keeping 232,505 viewers. WFAA8 managed a distant second place finish with 166,075 viewers after receiving just 73,073 from the last 15 minutes of ABC's I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

The prime-terrain otherwise was controlled by ABC's Wipeout in the 7 p.m. hour and a new edition of NBC's Talent at 8 p.m. Both shows also won among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, as did CSI: NY.

"The 33's" 9 p.m. local newscast on KDAF-TV had particularly rough sailing among 18-to-49-year-olds, registering "hashmarks" (no measurable audience), according to Nielsen. In contrast, Fox4's competing 9 p.m. news had 81,030 viewers in this age range to run second during the hour.

In other local news derby results, Fox4 nipped WFAA8 and CBS11 at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again swept the 6 a.m. ratings, with Fox4 slipping to fourth in total viewers and tying for third with WFAA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11, no longer a day-to-day doormat -- at least in the summertime -- ran third in total viewers, just one-tenth of a point behind WFAA8. And it took the silver among 25-to-54-year-olds, which is akin to Joe Piscopo being asked to headline at Caesar's.

School's out, vacations are still on, and early morning viewing levels are depressed. Still, CBS11 no longer can be entirely dismissed in the early mornings after years of very distant fourth-place finishes.

Meanwhile, WFAA8 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 on top with 25-to-54-year-olds. There also was a split verdict at 5 p.m., where NBC5 took the gold in total viewers and Fox4 ran first in the 25-to-54 demographic.

For the day, that made it a heady three out of four for Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds, with only its early morning Good Day missing in action.