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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Feb. 8) -- big cold weather heat-up for Fox4's 9 p.m. news

Prospective bad weather invariably draws a crowd. And Fox4's 9 p.m. newscast had boffo box office returns Tuesday as Wednesday's icy blast began moving in for the kill.

The news drew 429,393 D-FW viewers, wiping out competing first-run entertainment programming on rival networks and nearly matching the night's biggest audience for CBS' 7 p.m. episode of NCIS (436,319 viewers). And among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, Fox4's 9 p.m. prelude to the morning's big freeze ranked as Tuesday's biggest draw, even topping its network's new hour of Glee.

The news reigned in the ratings without much lead-in help from Fox's 8:30 p.m. premiere of the new comedy series Traffic Light. It had 152,365 total viewers to rank a distant third in its time slot behind the second half-hour of CBS' front-running NCIS: Los Angeles (346,285 viewers). Traffic Light also took the bronze with 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC's prime-time lineup barely registered with new episodes of No Ordinary Family, V and Detroit 1-8-7. The first two dramas ran fifth in both ratings measurements, with The CW's One Tree Hill and Hellcats finishing fourth. Detroit 1-8-7 inched past the 9 p.m. CW33 local newscast in total viewers, but likewise plopped into fifth place among 18-to-49-year-olds.

No Ordinary Family played particularly dead, drawing a sub-puny 62,331 total viewers, with only 13,162 of them hitting the 18-to-49 sweet spot.

In the four-way local news derby results, CBS11 jumped the 10 p.m. gun with a 9:58 start time that dumped out of The Good Wife before its promised preview of next week's episode. It worked, with CBS11 topping the 10 p.m. field in total viewers for the fourth straight weeknight while Fox4 and WFAA8 tied for second. (Note: other stations also have pulled early start stunts in hopes of keeping viewers from straying elsewhere. Viewers are getting screwed to a degree, but that's not really a prime consideration during sweeps wars.)

CBS11 hasn't lost at 10 p.m. in total viewers since the four-week February "sweeps" rating period started last Thursday. But Fox4's 10 p.m. edition continued its jarringly strong demographic performance by narrowly winning among 25-to-54-year-olds for the third time in four sweeps nights. That age group is the primary advertiser target audience for news programming. CBS11 fell from first to fourth in this key measurement, although all four stations' ratings were closely bunched together.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and also won among 25-to-54-year-olds at both 5 and 6 p.m. CBS11 topped the 6 p.m. competition in total viewers by a hair over WFAA8 while NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first in that measurement at 5 p.m.