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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., March 17) -- minimal interest in NCAA hoops

St. Paddy's Day also jump-started the NCAA basketball tournament, with the games bouncing around on four different networks.

CBS, which had been the longtime sole home of the "Big Dance," easily drew the biggest audiences Thursday while TNT and TBS went comparatively unnoticed. Ratings weren't available for the games on truTV, which included a first round win by Uncle Barky's alma mater Wisconsin Badgers over mighty Belmont.

The most-watched matchup, St. John's vs. Gonzaga on CBS, had 103,886 D-FW viewers while running through late night newscasts. The preceding CBS game, which featured the nation's leading scorer, Jimmer Fredette, had just 69,257 viewers. For the record, Fredette's BYU beat Wofford.

The daytime games on CBS weren't ratings whirlwinds, but did outdraw a competing mix of soap operas, talk shows and courtroom activities. The biggest attraction, West Virginia vs. Clemson, had 90,034 viewers in late morning and early afternoon hours. No game on TNT or TBS averaged more than 20,777 viewers. And no Texas teams played on Thursday.

Prime-time's hit parade again was led by Fox's American Idol, which amassed 560,982 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour for its latest singer vote-off. The network's new episode of Bones then won at 8 p.m. with 332,434 viewers before Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast topped its time slot with 193,920 viewers.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Idol and Bones won easily while Fox4's news ran first from 9 to 9:30 p.m. before being beaten by NBC's new episode of Outsourced in the closing half-hour of prime-time. Outsourced does very well in D-FW, where it was the Peacock's biggest draw in the 18-to-49 demo Thursday. But the series still looks like a long shot for a second season renewal on NBC, which already has picked up fellow Thursday night comedies Community, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and The Office for next fall.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 topped a downsized three-way 10 p.m. race in total viewers while NBC5 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. in total viewers and beat NBC5 by a sliver among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 had a big early evening, sweeping both the 5 and 6 p.m. newscast competitions. CBS11's 6 p.m. news was rubbed out by basketball.