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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 7) -- Fox special (on ABC) boosts WFAA8's late night news

It's not often that ABC takes charge of the final hour of prime-time and gives its member stations a Vitamin B booster shot for their late night newscasts.

But a Michael J. Fox special made its presence felt in Thursday's 9 p.m. faceoff. The actor's one-hour Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, an upbeat look at his battle with Parkinson's Disease, drew 265,720 D-FW viewers in handily outdrawing all competing programs. It also topped the field among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.

CBS otherwise controlled the total viewer numbers from 7 to 9 p.m. with Survivor: Tocantins and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which as usual had the night's biggest audience (332,150 viewers). But NBC's My Name Is Earl and Parks & Recreation controlled the 7 p.m. hour among 18-to-49-year-olds before ABC's Grey's Anatomy won at 8 p.m.

The strong showing for ABC's Fox special provided WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast with some bonus points. It easily topped the field in total viewers and also coasted among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. In fact, WFAA8 had the largest audience of the night in the latter measurement -- 151,765 viewers.

In other local news derby results, NBC5 continued its winning ways at 6 a.m., sweeping the field for the sixth consecutive weekday. But the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Fox4's Good Day continued to prosper by outdrawing all three network morning shows.

WFAA8 took the 6 p.m. golds in both ratings measurements and also ran first at 5 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 topped the 5 p.m. field in total viewers.