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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Sept. 13) -- another Fox/NBC faceoff

NBC's two-hour season finale of America's Got Talent battled Fox's second episode of The X Factor and the season premiere of Glee Thursday night.

It was pretty much a draw in total viewers but the Fox combo led the way with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. But that's only among the Big Four broadcast networks, which also include ABC and CBS. We'll factor in the Texas Rangers' game in just a bit.

The first hour of Talent drew 223,545 D-FW viewers, with X Factor matching that total. Fox's following Glee moved up a bit to 230,319 viewers but Talent narrowly won out with 237,094 viewers for its second hour. That win was largely on the strength of the 8 to 8:15 portion of Talent, which had 304,835 viewers. The climactic 8:45 to 9 p.m. portion drooped all the way down to 196,449 viewers.

Fox won both hours among 18-to-49-year-olds, X Factor just barely and Glee in a walk. Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast ran first in that hour in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds.

In the cable sports world, the Texas Rangers blew a ninth inning lead and lost 5-4 to Cleveland on Fox Sports Southwest while an overall average of 277,738 total viewers partook. That's another strong ratings showing.

The NFL Network's Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game averaged 169,353 total viewers. Native Wisconsinite Uncle Barky reveled in the Packers' decisive 23-10 win but choked on the godawful pre- and post-game shows featuring former Cowboys Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin striving to out-shout each other. Not sure that even an elephant tranquilizer would have worked.

And then there's Katie Couric's Katie, which is showing serious signs of being a major disappointment for WFAA8 in a key 4 to 5 p.m. slot that provides a pathway to its early evening newscasts.

Thursday's edition had just 40,645 total viewers to finish in a fifth place tie from 4 to 5 p.m. with CW33's new Ricki Lake Show.

But Katie's 18-to-49-year-old demographics were beyond horrid. It averaged a ridiculously low 2,242 viewers in this age range after the first half-hour had the dreaded "hashmarks" (no measurable audience). In contrast, MY27's double dose of Meet the Browns episodes led the way with 35,225 and 44,832 viewers in this key demographic.

Even CBS11's demographically challenged 4 p.m. local newscast was something of a Gulliver compared to Katie. It had 9,607 viewers of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

One more thing. Thursday's Nielsen ratings say that Katie drew fewer 18-to-49-year-olds than any other program throughout the broadcast day on WFAA8. That includes the 4:30 to 5 a.m. portion of the station's Daybreak, which had 6,405 viewers of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

OK, just one more thing on Katie -- honest. It also had a smaller 18-to-49 audience of any program airing from pre-dawn to past midnight on competing stations Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11. Given all the hype surrounding this show, that's a Ripley's Believe It Or Not entry.

Here are Thursday's four-way local news derby numbers:

WFAA8 found a beacon of light with its still very formidable 10 p.m. edition, which ran first in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept both the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., WFAA8 won in total viewers and Fox4 took the 25-to-54 gold.