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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., April 25)

Dribbling to ratings gold and a playoff victory over Golden State, the Dallas Mavericks again were a smashing success in the D-FW Nielsens.

Wednesday's game, which ran from 8:45 to 11:25 p.m., averaged 258,121 homes on TXA21 and added another 165,735 for the TNT telecast. That brought the tote board to 423,856, down just a smidge from Sunday night's haul of 435,540 homes for Game 1.

In comparison, Fox's two-hour Idol Gives Back charity event averaged 337,960 homes from 7 to 9 p.m. Idol's final 15 minutes was the only program to outdraw the Mavs in head-to-head competition. But the game had barely started at that point, with audiences peaking on TXA21 between 11 and 11:15 p.m. (323,680 homes). TNT had its largest crowd between 10 and 10:15 p.m. (180,020 homes).

D-FW's four 10 p.m. newscasts took an aggregate hit, with Belo8 managing 166,600 homes to take first place. Overall, the quartet of 10 p.m. newscasts drew 487,900 homes, down from 559,300 on the previous Wednesday.

On the eve of the four-week May "sweeps," which start on Thursday (April 26), Belo8 also won at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 took first place in homes at 6 a.m., but Belo8 was tops among 25-to-54-year-olds. Although still running fourth, CBS11's early morning show, with Scott Sams logging his third day, perked up considerably in the 25-to-54 demo. Its 41,328 viewers in that age group at least were in shouting distance of third-place NBC5 (57,400).

Belo8 won at 5 p.m. in both ratings measurements. The 6 p.m. spoils were split between Belo8 (homes) and NBC5 (25-to-54-year-olds).