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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., March 31) -- Fox prospers in prime-time; NBC5 wins early, late

Duncanville's grinnin' Tim Urban survived another dunk in the Bottom Two tank Wednesday while Fox's American Idol won the night as usual.

Idol, which sent weepy Didi Benami home instead of "Teflon Tim," amassed 468,255 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, nearly outdrawing the combined offerings on ABC, CBS and NBC. Asterisk: Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU were in repeats.

Fort Worth's Casey James also remains in the Idol running, and seems destined to at least make the show's Final Four. The field is now down to nine.

At 7 p.m., a new episode of Fox's Human Target barely nipped NBC's Minute to Win It in total viewers. But MtWI took the time period among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds while Target slipped to third in its second half-hour behind a first-run episode of ABC's The Middle.

CBS' CSI: NY rerun ran first in total viewers at 9 p.m., narrowly beating Fox4's local newscast. The news won comfortably among 18-to-49-year-olds, though, with CSI: NY sliding to third.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the Dallas Mavericks' big comeback win in overtime at Memphis gave the team its 10th consecutive 50 wins or more season. The game averaged 81,436 viewers, peaking at 135,726.

In local news derby results, NBC5 continued to gain momentum at 10 p.m. by edging WFAA8 in total viewers and winning by a wider margin with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

That picture could change when CBS gets back to airing new episodes of its potent crime dramas in the 9 p.m. hour. But on Wednesday night, CBS11 ran third in both measurements despite relative lead-in parity with NBC's first-run Law & Order: SVU. WFAA8 more than doubled its news audience from ABC's punily-rated Ugly Betty, but couldn't make up enough ground.

At 6 a.m., NBC5 flexed with another doubleheader win. The Peacock hasn't lost in either measurement since WFAA8 won in total viewers on March 16th.

WFAA8 topped the 5 and 6 p.m. Nielsens in total viewers and added a 25-to-54 gold in the later hour. Fox4 had the most 25-to-54-year-old viewers at 5 p.m.