Idol cakewalk | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Jan. 26) -- another Idol cakewalk

Tuesday's American Idol warmup for Wednesday's audition show from Dallas didn't miss a beat opposite a new episode of prime-time's most popular drama series.

It was pretty close, though, at least in D-FW's total viewer Nielsens.

Fox's "Death Star," as rival network execs call it, rolled up its usual 600,000-plus tally, this time weighing in at 637,912 viewers for the L.A. tryouts. CBS' NCIS fought valiantly opposite Idol, luring 495,400 viewers.

Nothing else came close to these two in the 7 p.m. hour. The first half of NBC's The Biggest Loser came up a lightweight with 230,734 viewers while ABC's first-run episodes of Scrubs (27,145 viewers) and Better Off Ted (20,359 viewers) couldn't even be called featherweights. It's a shame to see two quality comedies left for dead, but that's the reality when going against two Goliaths.

Fox's new Human Target then fell to 298,597 viewers at 8 p.m., losing to CBS' new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles (359,674 viewers).

The 9 p.m. local newscast on Fox4 dipped a bit further to 230,734 viewers. Still, that was good enough to win its time slot opposite CBS' The Good Wife repeat, the second half of ABC's two-hour Lost reprise and, of course, NBC's lame duck Jay Leno Show.

Among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, Idol swamped NCIS before the second half of Biggest Loser won the 8 p.m. hour by beating the runnerup Human Target. The second hour of Lost's recap (preceding next Tuesday's Season 6 premiere) won at 9 p.m., with Fox4's newscast taking the silver.

In local news derby results, NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for the top spot in total viewers at 10 p.m., but WFAA8 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions, edging the Peacock in both ratings measurements.

Early evenings also came up big for Fox4. The station ran the table at 5 p.m. and also topped the 6 p.m. newscast competition among 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 managed a 6 p.m. win in total viewers.