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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 14-15) -- Fox4's news continues to prosper in prime-time (plus two local TV news notes

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Still giving off extra summertime heat, Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast again ranked as prime-time’s overall top attraction Thursday.

The news drew 175,733 D-FW viewers, equaling the combined audience for the competing shows on ABC, CBS and NBC. Namely, new hours of Reef Break and Elementary plus a repeat of Law & Order: SVU.

Among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of Spin the Wheel ranked No. 1 with 54,346 viewers while Fox4’s news and Fox’s Masterchef ran close seconds with 48,307 viewers apiece. In sharp contrast, ABC’s Reef Break had “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) in this key demographic.

ESPN’s pre-season NFL matchup of the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals averaged 84,352 total viewers.

Wednesday’s Nielsens were paced by NBC’s America’s Got Talent in total viewers (224,938) and Fox4’s 9 p.m. news among 18-to-49ers (45,288). The second episode of Fox’s BH90210 continued to perform solidly in this measurement, winning the 8 p.m. hour with 42,269 viewers.

Here are the local news derby results for Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday -- It was a tale of two stations. WFAA8 won in total viewers at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Fox4 took the 6 a.m. trophies in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) while also winning at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Thursday -- WFAA8 and Fox4 repeated their respective wins at 10 p.m. in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., the spoils went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

After seven straight weekdays in third place at 6 a.m., WFAA8 edged back ahead of NBC5 into second place in both ratings measurements on Wednesday and also took the runner-up spot on Thursday in total viewers. The two stations tied for second on Thursday in the 25-to-54 demographic.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTES -- Veteran Fox4 anchor Steve Eagar, who is most prominently seen on the station’s potent 9 p.m. newscast, underwent surgery Thursday morning for prostate cancer. He has posted more details and a video (prior to the surgery) on his Facebook page. We wish him the very best and a full recovery.

*** Several readers have inquired about the whereabouts of NBC5 anchor-reporter Kristi Nelson, who’s been off the air for roughly a month.

Nelson says there’s nothing to be concerned about. “I’m still with NBC5 and taking some time off to spend with family. I will return!” Nelson said in a response to unclebarky.com. “It’s good to know that people are concerned about me; I appreciate it.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net