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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Jan. 22)

Fox's American Idol again dominated Tuesday's prime-time ratings, but Belo8's local newscasts made a bigger score.

The station's rare double grand slam (the first since Nov. 19th) in the four major news food groups included a surprising rout of Fox4's usually potent Good Day in the 6 a.m. D-FW Nielsens. The continued presence of lame duck Daybreak co-anchor Justin Farmer, scheduled to leave for WSB-TV in Atlanta when his contract expires in July, doesn't seem to be a turnoff to viewers. Or maybe it's just that new desk partner Cynthia Izaguirre is proving to be a turn-on.

Belo8 drew 119,344 total homes at 6 a.m. Tuesday, with Fox4 and NBC5 tying for a distant second (73,068 homes). The ABC station also had a comfortable margin among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. It drew 91,280 viewers in that key age group, with Fox4's Good Day well behind at 53,001.

The 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Good Day, which usually beats all three of the network morning shows, slipped to third in both audience measurements.

Belo8 also ran the table at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., which is regularly the case.

Idol amassed 411,164 total homes for its one-hour audition outing from San Diego. It also ran away with the 18-to-49-year-olds ratings, the main advertiser target audience for entertainment programming.

Riding on Idol's coattails, Fox's repeat of House commanded the 8 to 9 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements. At 9 p.m., NBC's new episode of Law & Order: SVU edged ABC's first-run Boston Legal in total homes and won more comfortably with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Also of note: Longrunning Wheel of Fortune on CBS11 pounded the three competing entertainment rag mags despite the big news of actor Heath Ledger's death in a New York loft.