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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Nov. 17) -- big returns for return of Human Target

Fox successfully relaunched Human Target Wednesday night with surprisingly strong numbers in the 7 p.m. hour.

The action-adventure hour drew 263,177 D-FW viewers to easily best CBS' runnerup Survivor: Nicaragua (207,771 viewers). Target also won its time slot among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

Crime otherwise paid on CBS, at least in total viewers. Both Criminal Minds and The Defenders ran first in that measurement but faltered with 18-to-49-year-olds. ABC's Modern Family and the first half-hour of Fox's Hell's Kitchen outdrew Minds from 8 to 8:30 p.m. before Kitchen's second half won from 8:30 to 9 p.m. Defenders was beaten at 9 p.m. by Fox4's local newscast.

ABC's 9 p.m. special, a Kim Kardashian-hosted treatise on People magazine's 25th anniversary "Sexiest Man Alive" edition, ran fourth in both ratings measurements with a total viewer haul of just 90,034. Actor Ryan Reynolds got the nod.

The 10 p.m. local news ratings race remained airtight, with WFAA8 overcoming a skimpy lead-in to edge arch rival CBS11 in total viewers by a score of 221,622 to 207,771. The competition among 25-to-54-year-olds was even closer, with NBC5 rising up to nip both WFAA8 and CBS11 by a paper thin margin.

Five weekdays remain to be counted in the ongoing November "sweeps, which end on the day before Thanksgiving. There could be some gamesmanship involved over which stations decide to take a knee on Thanksgiving eve with the traditional "H" for holiday travel. WFAA8 and CBS11 will be the ones rolling the dice.

In the other four-way local news competitions, Fox4 pretty much locked up the 6 a.m. firsts with dominant wins in both measurements. It drew more than twice as many 25-to-54-year-olds as second-place WFAA8, which still has a chance to move up a notch ahead of NBC5 in the final sweeps standings.

CBS11 took the 5 and 6 p.m. golds in total viewers but couldn't hold the fort with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 won in that measurement at 5 p.m. while Fox4 had the top spot at 6 p.m.