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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Wed., Feb. 23-24) -- Idol first, then CBS

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Wednesday’s prime-time Nielsen numbers followed the usual pattern in D-FW. Fox’s American Idol paced the leadoff hour before CBS pair of drama series kicked in.

Idol drew the night’s biggest overall crowd with 297,461 viewers. That number might have been better had Sunnyvale’s Dalton Rapattoni and three other hopefuls not been given a judges’ “free pass” into the Top 10 at the outset of the hour. That waylaid any performance from the only remaining North Texan in the field.

CBS’ Criminal Minds then won the 8 p.m. hour with 269,131 viewers before the network’s Code Black (177,068) nipped NBC’s Chicago PD for the 9 p.m. win. It was the same story among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with Idol, Criminal Minds and Code Black all winning their time slots.

On Tuesday night, CBS’ NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans won from 7 to 9 p.m. in total viewers with respective counts of 403,697 and 318,708. The 9 p.m. hour went to NBC’s Chicago Fire (198,307 viewers).

The two NCIS hours also prevailed with 18-to-49-year-olds before Chicago Fire and Fox4’s local newscast tied for the top spot at 9 p.m.

Over in the cable news network arena, coverage of the Nevada Republican presidential caucus results was led by Fox News Channel. Its highest score -- 113,318 total viewers -- came during the 9 to 10 p.m. hour. In contrast, the second hour of ABC’s competing Marvel’s Agent Carter drew just 42,494 total viewers.

Here are the local news derby results for the 14th and 15th weekdays of the February “sweeps” ratings period, which ends next Wednesday.

Tuesday -- CBS11 beat NBC5 by a paper-thin margin at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 edged the Peacock for the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 effortlessly notched two more 6 a.m. wins and NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for first place in total viewers at 6 p.m. but TEGNA8 won comfortably among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Wednesday -- CBS11 was tops in total viewers at 10 p.m. and NBC5 won with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and remains unbeaten at that hour in the sweeps.

NBC5 drew the most total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. In the 25-to-54 demographic, Fox4 won at 5 p.m. while sharing the lead with TEGNA8 at 6 p.m.

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