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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 7)

Tuesday night's town hall-ish presidential debate, won by ___________ , indisputably put ABC in the D-FW ratings driver's seat.

Round II of Barack Obama-John McCain also could be seen on four rival broadcast networks and three cable channels. Here's the 8 to 9:30 p.m. breakdown in the total homes local Nielsens, with post-debate chat excluded:

ABC (Ch. 8) -- 265,480 homes
Fox (Ch. 4) -- 136,394 homes
Fox News Channel -- 119,344 homes
CBS (Ch. 11) -- 107,166 homes
NBC (Ch. 5) -- 99,860 homes
CNN -- 87,682 homes
MSNBC -- 51,148 homes
PBS (Ch. 13) -- 26,792 homes

GRAND TOTAL -- 893,866 homes

Sorry guys, but that wasn't quite enough to outpoint last week's Joe Biden-Sarah Palin bout, which drew 910,912 homes on those same eight networks. But Tuesday's festivities easily whipped the first Obama-McCain faceoff, a comparative dud with 720,937 homes.

A pair of warmup acts dominated the 7 to 8 p.m. ratings.

CBS' NCIS led with 226,511 homes, outscoring ABC's competing Dancing with the Stars results show (199,719 homes). That points to an enormous turnoff for CBS' resultant debate presentation, which lost more than half the audience inherited from NCIS. The four other broadcast networks all had more viewers for the debate than for their preceding programs.

On to the local news derby, where WFAA8 romped to overwhelming wins at 10 p.m. in both total homes and with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

WFAA8's total homes tally (255,738) more than doubled the audience for runnerup NBC5 (116,909 homes). And in the 25-to-54 demo, WFAA8 amassed 173,726 of 'em in crushing the second place Peacock (70,668).

WFAA8 also romped as usual with twin wins at 6 p.m. But in the early morning ratings race, Fox4 crowed while WFAA8's ratings again slept in.

Fox4 had 121,780 homes at 6 a.m., decisively beating NBC5 (90,117) and doubling up on third place WFAA8 (60,890). The 25-to-54 gold also went to Fox4, with WFAA8 again in a third-place ditch.

At 5 p.m., NBC5 won in total homes and WFAA8 prevailed with 25-to-54-year-olds.