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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., May 6-7) -- rain reigns

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Heavy rain, hail and winds in some areas made another mess of network prime-time lineups Thursday.

NBC5 and Gannett8 for the most part stayed with regularly scheduled programming while filling commercial breaks with weather updates. Fox4 and CBS11 punched out a good deal of their 7 to 9 p.m. network fare.

The overall big winner was Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast, which rode the inclement weather to one of its biggest ratings ever. A total of 425,414 D-FW viewers tuned in, with 179,767 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic. The most-watched competing program at that hour, CBS’ Elementary, drew 188,298 total viewers while ABC’s American Crime (just renewed for a second season) was the runner-up among 18-to-49-year-olds with 63,076.

In late night, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman got an unprecedented twofer. CBS11 initially routed it to sister station TXA21 in favor of continued weather coverage. The mothership station later picked up Letterman in progress while keeping it on TXA21 as well. The combined 125,532 total viewers were enough to pull Late Show into a first-place tie with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live among the three after-hours talkers. But Kimmel won with 18-to-49-year-olds while Dave again drooped to a distant third.

On Wednesday night, Fox’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of American Idol won those two hours in total viewers with 258,038. Fox4’s local news then ran first in the 9 p.m. hour with 251,064 viewers. The news and Idol’s last half-hour also took the top spots with 18-to-49-year-olds. But CBS’ Survivor paced that key demographic from 7 to 8 p.m. And ABC’s Modern Family had the most 18-to-49-year-olds from 8 to 8:30 p.m.

Here are the Wednesday-Thursday local news derby results for the 10th and 11th weekdays of the May “sweeps” ratings period, which ends on May 20th.

Wednesday -- Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 nipped the ABC affiliate to take first place among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added twin wins at 5 p.m. Both of the 6 p.m. golds went to NBC5.

Thursday -- Fox4 topped the weather-spiked 10 p.m. competitions in both ratings measurements. The runner-ups were CBS11 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 6 a.m. golds again went to Fox4 while NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. The Peacock also had the most total viewers at 6 p.m., with Fox4 a narrow No. 1 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Of note: Nine weekdays still remain to be counted. But it’s now going to take a major rally for Gannett8 to get out of the basement in the 6 a.m. battle for 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 which has never finished better than last at 6 a.m. in either ratings measurement, drew more than twice as many 25-to-54-year-olds as Gannett8 on Wednesday morning and ran third by a comfy margin in Thursday’s face-off.

CBS11’s 25-to-54 demographics still mostly stink at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. But the key 6 to 7 a.m. portion of its early morning show -- when the biggest viewing pool is available -- is flush with momentum. On Wednesday, CBS11’s 6 a.m. edition had more 25-to-54-year-olds than the station’s 5 or 6 p.m. newscasts.

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