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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., April 25) -- feeling a draft, Rangers win one, lose one

Thursday was super-busy for keepers of Nielsen scorecards. On the first day of the May “sweeps” ratings period, Round One of the NFL draft clashed with a Texas Rangers game while morning and afternoon hours were dominated by live coverage of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the West, TX memorial service in Waco.

Let’s sort it all out for you.

The first-place Rangers’ 2-1 road win at Minnesota, on Fox Sports Southwest, began directly opposite the draft on ESPN. The game ended between 10 and 10:15 p.m. while the draft droned on, particularly for Cowboys’ fans staying up late to see what the team would do with its traded-down 31st pick.

Rangers-Twins averaged 172,105 D-FW viewers, with a peak audience of 240,947 between 10 and 10:15 p.m. (Nielsen reports ratings in 15-minute increments.)

The draft’s numbers from 7 to 10:15 p.m. were an average of 123,916 viewers with a high point of 165,221 between 9:30 to 9:45 p.m. But the draft’s biggest audience came post-Rangers, with 206,526 viewers on hand between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m. (when the Cowboys made their pick). Overall, though, score a comfy win for the North Texas Nine.

The Rangers came up well short of the draft, however, among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. In that key demographic, the NFL flexed with an average of 89,303 viewers between 7 and 10:15 p.m. before hitting a peak of 149,902 in the 10:15 to 10:30 increment.

The entire Rangers-Twins game averaged 47,841 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range, with a high of 89,303 from 10 to 10:15 p.m. So no contest here.

Earlier Thursday, Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 all offered live continuous coverage of the Bush library dedication, which started at 10 a.m. and ran until 11:16 a.m. Let’s look at the total viewer Nielsen numbers from 10 to 11:15 a.m.

WFAA8 -- 96,379
NBC5 -- 75,726
CBS11 -- 55,074
Fox4 -- 48,189

WFAA8’s coverage also had the most 25-to-54-year-old viewers (main advertiser target audience for news programming), followed in order by Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11.

By mid-Friday afternoon, Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 all were offering continuous, commercial-free coverage of the West, TX memorial service while WFAA8 broke in only for President Obama’s remarks (3:54 to 4:10 p.m.) and otherwise stayed with its syndicated trio of Anderson Live, Dr. Oz and Katie.

Here are the total viewer averages from 3 to 5 p.m., when the bulk of the memorial aired:

NBC5 -- 89,495
CBS11 -- 48,189
Fox4/WFAA8 -- 41,305 each

NBC5 likewise led among 25-to-54-year-olds, with WFAA8, Fox4 and CBS11 trailing in that order.

OK, let’s move to Thursday’s prime-time numbers, where the Big Four broadcast networks celebrated the start of the season’s final sweeps period with all-new episodes of your favorite and not-so-favorite programming.

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory ran first from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in total viewers before the second half-hour of Fox’s American Idol won from 7:30 to 8 p.m.

CBS’ Person of Interest and Elementary then controlled the 8 to 10 p.m. slot.

Big Bang also won with 18-to-49-year-olds while the second half of Idol barely held off CBS’ Two and a Half Men to top the 7:30 to 8 p.m. segment.

ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy ran first with 18-to-49-year-olds in the 8 p.m. hour, with Elementary winning at 9 p.m. NBC’s fourth episode of Hannibal had its worst outing to date, running sixth at 9 p.m. in both audience measurements behind CBS, ABC, Fox4’s local newscast, the Rangers game and the NFL draft.

In the local newscast derby results, WFAA8 got off to a splendid start on Day One of the sweeps -- with sweeps of the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 collected its usual golds with twin wins at 6 a.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net