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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Feb. 26) -- How to Get Away with Murder season finale deadens competition

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ABC left some ratings corpses on rival networks Thursday with its two-hour season finale of How to Get Away with Murder.

HTGAWM scored especially big among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, averaging 132,460 from 8 to 10 p.m. The next closest competitor, NBC’s 8 p.m. episode of The Blacklist, drew 91,460 viewers in this key demographic.

The first hour of HTGAWM and Blacklist tied for first in total viewers, though, with 271,986 apiece. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then put up a good fight, but lost to HTGAWM by a score of 278,960 viewers to 251,064.

CBS’ new episode of The Big Bang Theory was tops from 7 to 7:30 p.m. with 404,492 total viewers and 151,381 in the 18-to-49 realm. The second half-hour of Fox’s American Idol then beat CBS’ second episode of The Odd Couple in total viewers. But The OC had a slight edge with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of Backstrom took a beating, running fourth in both ratings measurements. NBC’s new The Slap likewise was No. 4 across the board in the 7 p.m. hour.

But Thursday’s biggest bomb was CBS’ 9 p.m. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Among the Big Four broadcast networks, it ranked an overall last in prime-time with just 48,818 total viewers and 22,077 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results on the day after the February “sweeps” ratings period.

Gannett8 lapped up the big lead-in from HTGAWM and cruised to easy wins at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). In both cases, Gannett8 grew its audience, which is impressive.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. races and NBC5 rang up twin wins at 5 p.m. The Peacock also had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

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