Idol, ABC meds | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snaphot (Thurs., March 26) -- basketball routed by Idol, ABC meds

The games were mostly one-sided and none of the remaining teams are from Texas. That spelled ratings doom in D-FW for the "Sweet 16" portion of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Thursday's 7 to 8 p.m. hour went to Fox's American Idol, with 438,438 viewers watching Jasper, TX oil rigger Michael Sarver take the gas. Hoops ran fourth in that slot with 99,645 viewers, edging only ABC's comedy combo of the new In the Motherhood (93,002 viewers) and the returning Samantha Who? (86,359 viewers). The CW's Smallville took second with 119,574 viewers, just a smidgen ahead of NBC's My Name Is Earl and The Office (both with 112,931 viewers).

Basketball also finished fourth in the 7 p.m. hour among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, again beating only ABC's sitcoms.

ABC's Grey's Anatomy won from 8 to 9 p.m. with 318,864 total viewers. Basketball inched up to third place with 192,647 viewers; Fox's Hell's Kitchen simmered in second with 225,862 viewers. The three of 'em ranked in the same order with 18-to-49-year-olds.

The 9 p.m. hour went to ABC's Private Practice (285,649 total viewers). Basketball dribbled back down to fourth place (166,075 viewers), trailing Fox4's runnerup 9 p.m. local newscast (225,862 viewers) and NBC's second-to-last episode of ER (159,432 viewers). Hoops moved up a notch to third place -- ahead of ER -- in the 18-to-49 age range.

In the daily local news derby, a downsized three-way race at 10 p.m. went to WFAA8 in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the principal advertiser target audience for news programming. WFAA8's 398,580 viewers made it Thursday's second most-watched program, behind only Idol.

Fox4 nipped NBC5 at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements, with WFAA8 and CBS11 again well back.

WFAA8 retained its strong grip at 6 p.m. with twin wins. The 5 p.m. golds went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.