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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Feb. 20) -- Fox/Fox4 dominate prime-time

Wednesday's two-hour Vegas edition of Fox's American Idol called the tune in D-FW while also inflating the ratings for Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast.

Idol averaged 419,936 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. and likewise topped that slot with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. CBS' 8 p.m. episode of Criminal Minds stayed strong with prime-time's second biggest audience haul -- 357,978 total viewers.

CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation then held off Fox4's news, winning at 9 p.m. in total viewers by a score of 282,252 to 254,715. But Fox4 easily took the 9 p.m. gold medal with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Katie Couric's 9 p.m. Oscar special on ABC, airing in place of Nashville, gave affiliate WFAA8 a double whammy. Her 4 p.m. daytime talk show, which did better than usual Wednesday, has consistently provided the station with skimpy lead-ins for its 5 p.m. local newscasts. Now the 10 p.m. edition feels the pain, with Couric placing a distant fourth at 9 p.m. with 89,495 total viewers while landing in that same spot with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Over on KTXD-TV (Ch. 47), the third editions of D magazine's D: The Broadcast and D Living again had "hashmarks" (no measurable audience) from 9 to 11 a.m. It might help a bit if the station updated the tease it's still using a minute or two before the locally produced programs hit the air. As of Thursday morning, KTXD continued to tout a 9 a.m. to noon lineup of Perry Mason, The Rockford Files and Hawaii Five-0. Just trying to help.

In Wednesday's local news derby results, CBS11 made WFAA8 pay for ABC's Katie by winning at 10 p.m. in total viewers. The stations remain locked in a tight battle in this measurement with five weekdays remaining in the February "sweeps" ratings period. Fox4 ran first at that hour among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. But WFAA8 still has a safe lead in this key demographic.

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. in both ratings measurements. The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.