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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., March 18) -- half a milion viewers+ for two-hour Empire finale

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The ratings rocket ship known as Fox’s Empire went through the roof Wednesday with a two-hour season finale that featured both a Dynasty-esque cat fight and enough other over the top moments to make even Dallas seem sedate.

Hour One, from 7 to 8 p.m., amassed 530,024 D-FW viewers, the show’s biggest haul of the season. Hour Two then exceeded that mark with 599,764 viewers.

Empire likewise was off the charts with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 277,534 in the 7 p.m. hour and then 299,611. In the weekly series realm, those totals have been approached this season only by AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then happily mopped up with time slot winning totals of 292,908 viewers overall and 138,767 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

On rival networks, CBS’ Survivor was the biggest also-ran with 216,194 total viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. It had 78,845 in the 18-to-49 age range.

ABC’s 9 p.m. special, The Untold Story of The Sound of Music with Diane Sawyer and Julie Andrews, tied CBS’ CSI: Cyber for second place at that hour in total viewers (181,324 each). CSI: Cyber had the silver medal to itself among 18-to-49-year-olds, with 66,230.

In late night, Jimmy Kimmel’s third show from Austin knocked off rivals Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman for the third straight night in total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. But the gaps have been narrower for the past two nights, particularly among 18-to-49-year-olds. And Fox4’s 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. combo of Modern Family reruns and TMZ beat all three talk shows in both measurements on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 finished narrowly on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 notched another pair of wins at 6 a.m., where Gannett8 remains in a deepening ditch among 25-to-54-year-olds while CBS11 continues to do better. On Wednesday, Gannett8 dropped to fourth place in this key demographic while CBS11 ran second.

Gannett8 ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 took the 25-to-54 gold. At 5 p.m., NBC5 and Gannett8 shared the total viewers lead and Gannett8 had the top spot to itself with 25-to-54-year-olds.

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