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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., April 19) -- Yu tube vs. Idol

Yu Darvish-fueled Texas Rangers games already have outdrawn some of network TV's heaviest hitters this spring, including ABC's Dancing with the Stars, NBC's The Voice and new episodes of CBS' potent Monday night sitcom lineup.

But could his third start Thursday night -- in Detroit against the Tigers -- knock off even Fox's American Idol in head-to-head competition?

No and yes.

Idol won in total D-FW viewers, drawing 304,835 with its 7 to 8 p.m. results edition while the Rangers had 270,964 viewers during that hour with Yu still in the early stages of a 10-3 Rangers win. (McKinney's Hollie Cavanaugh again survived a Bottom 2 scare, and now is among the show's six finalists.)

But Rangers-Tigers hit a home run among among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, routing Idol from 7 to 8 p.m. by a score of 134,497 to 99,271. Simply put, the Rangers and Fox Sports Southwest have never had it this good during the beginning of the regular season. And starting Monday night, they get the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark for three games.

Thursday night's nine-inning Rangers-Tigers marathon, which stretched to 9:51 p.m., averaged 291,286 total viewers overall, with a peak crowd of 413,220 between 9 and 9:15 p.m. On Rangers nights, FSS is giving rival networks a severe case of SOS.

NBC had another tough night Thursday. Its biggest draw, a new episode of The Office, had 115,160 total viewers from 8 to 8:30 p.m. That's well less than half the overall audience average for the Rangers game.

CBS punted with reruns, save for a new episode of Rules of Engagement at 7:30 p.m. Still, all of its programming easily beat NBC's all-new lineup in total viewers.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 took the gold among 25-to-54-year-olds, the favored advertiser target audience for news programming.

The tables were turned at 6 a.m., with Fox4 tops in total viewers and WFAA8 winning with 25-to-54-year-olds.

WFAA8 enjoyed a big day in the early evening, running the ratings table at both 5 and 6 p.m.