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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs, July 16) -- still strong at 10, WFAA8 otherwise on the ropes

WFAA8's late night newscasts continue to overcome dink-a-doo prime-time ratings from the ABC network. But its early evening/early morning ratings have become another story.

Thursday's Nielsens were typical. WFAA8 dominated at 10 p.m., drawing the day's largest audience with 239,148 D-FW viewers. More impressively, it pole-vaulted from the 99,645 viewers provided by the last 15 minutes of ABC's Private Practice repeat.

NBC5 had a slightly worse network lead-in - 93,002 viewers from The Listener -- with its 10 p.m. newscast modestly increasing that total to 132,860 viewers. Fox4 dipped a bit, drawing 132,860 viewers at 10 p.m. after inheriting 146,146 from the closing 15 minutes of its 9 p.m. local newscast.

That left CBS11 to again drop the ball. It ran second in total viewers at 10 p.m. with 146,146. But that was a significant drop from the 212,576 viewers bequeathed by the network's rerun of The Mentalist.

WFAA8 also crushed the competition among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

The ABC affiliate used to be top dog at 5 and 6 p.m. as well. But it seldom wins in the earlier hour anymore. And WFAA8's once superior 6 p.m. numbers are now spotty at best.

NBC5 won at 5 and 6 p.m. Thursday in total viewers while Fox4 ran the table among 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 ran third in the key 25-to-54 demographic, beating only CBS11, whose early evening numbers are usually sub-woeful within this age group.

NBC5 again notched twin wins at 6 a.m., with Fox4 second and WFAA8 third as usual. The front-running Peacock drew almost twice as many 25-to-54-year-olds as WFAA8.

In prime-time, the hotness of the Harry Potter books and movies didn't translate to a prime-time special on their author. ABC's J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life drew just 66,430 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour, finishing fourth behind Fox's league-leading Bones repeat (106,288 viewers). But among 18-to-49-year-olds (the preferred advertiser audience for entertainment programming), Bones plunged to fourth place and Rowling improved to third. NBC's repeats of 30 Rock and The Office won the hour.

In late night warfare, CBS' Late Show with David Letterman outdrew NBC's Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien in the total viewer Nielsens. But Conan again had the edge with 18-to-49-year-olds.