Grey's finale give WFAA8 a booster shot | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 20) -- big numbers for Grey's finale give WFAA8 a booster shot

The neck-and-neck race for 10 p.m. news supremacy tightened further Thursday when WFAA8 struck back with twin wins after getting flattened the previous two nights by archrival CBS11.

ABC's two-hour season finale of Grey's Anatomy was the drink-stirrer, providing WFAA8 with a slim 9:45 to 10 p.m. lead-in advantage in total viewers and a dominant one among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The season finale of CBS' The Mentalist ran second in both measurements during these crucial 15 minutes.

WFAA8, which trailed CBS11 by one-tenth of a rating point in total viewers through the first 15 weeknights of the May "sweeps," had an overall audience of 230,734 Thursday night. CBS11 pulled in second with 183,230 viewers. Each full rating point equals 67,863 viewers.

Among 25-to-54-year-olds, WFAA8 beat CBS11 by a score of 110,484 to 89,001. CBS11 led WFAA8 by two-tenths of a point going into Thursday night, with NBC5 also ahead of the ABC station by one-tenth of a point. A full point in this demographic is worth 30,690 viewers.

CBS11 is the defending "sweeps" champ in total viewers after barely winning at 10 p.m. for the first time ever in November. WFAA8 holds the crown with 25-to-54-year-olds. The February sweeps basically were thrown out due to a heavy volume of Winter Olympics overruns on NBC.

WFAA8 still holds a big hammer with Tuesday night's finale of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which will feed directly into its 10 p.m. newscast. But the station may not fare as well on Monday and Wednesday (the last night of the sweeps), when ABC's offerings are The Bachelorette and the broadcast TV premiere of Transformers opposite CBS' 9 p.m. pair of CSI season finales. Expect some novel newscast teases during all of those prime-time attractions. Maybe something on the order of: "Shirtless meteorologists at 10!!!"

In Thursday's other local news derby results, the 6 a.m. race between Fox4 and NBC5 also remained air tight. But Fox4 improved its chances with twin wins over the Peacock. They're in virtual first-place ties in both measurements with four days to go.

NBC5 won big at 5 p.m. in total viewers, where it still has a chance to catch or tie WFAA8 for the top spot. The Peacock also prevailed by a smaller margin at 6 p.m., where WFAA8 looks like the eventual winner in total viewers.

Fox4, however, solidified its first place holds among 25-to-54-year-olds, scoring two comfortable wins to pretty much lock things up. WFAA8 retains a ghost of a chance at 5 p.m., but would need a big Oprah-fueled surge down the backstretch.