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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., May 18-20) -- Rangers/Selleck score big while Byron Nelson putt putters along

Only Tom Selleck's latest Jesse Stone movie stood in the way of the Texas Rangers-Houston Astros being top draws for all three games of their weekend series.

CBS' eighth film in the series, Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt, drew 291,286 D-FW viewers Sunday to rank as that day's most popular TV attraction. CBS11's 10 p.m. newscast, coasting on Stone's coattails, ranked No. 2 with 257,416 viewers while Fox Sports Southwest's Sunday afternoon telecast of the Rangers' win over the Astros finished third overall with 223,545 viewers.

Stone also outdrew two fairly formidable competing attractions on rival networks. NBC's season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice (won by Arsenio Hall) had 182,901 viewers while ABC's Billboard Music Awards drew 176,127.

Otherwise a dark demographic cloud hung over Jesse Stone, as it does with many popular CBS entries. Only 28,821 of the movie's viewers were in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 demographic. That landed it in fourth place among the Big Four broadcast networks, with Celebrity Apprentice registering a league-leading 92,867 viewers in this key demographic.

(Note: CBS should be commended for continuing the Jesse Stone franchise in the face of such poor 18-to-49 returns. Were it on NBC, as Harry's Law used to be, one of Selleck's signature TV characters would have been laid to rest long ago. But TV networks still should occasionally make room for overall viewer hits that skew north of the 50-years-of-age mark. It's the right thing to do. End of sermonette.)

Also on Sunday, the final round of the Byron Nelson golf tournament averaged just 54,193 viewers on CBS, with only 12,809 of them in the 18-to-49 age range. ABC's competing Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers playoff game had 135,482 viewers, including 60,844 of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

Saturday's Rangers' loss to Houston, most of it in prime-time on the Fox broadcasting network, easily led all of that day's offerings with 291,286 total viewers. NBC's early evening telecast of The Preakness had 182,901 viewers for the 15-minute increment in which the race was actually run. Round 3 of the Byron Nelson hooked into the deep rough with just 40,645 viewers.

The season finale of NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Mike Jagger as both host and musical guest, had 169,353 total viewers. It also marked the goodbye for regular cast member Kristen Wiig, who was serenaded with "Ruby Tuesday."

Rangers-Astros likewise led all Friday programming with 230,319 viewers on TXA21. The next closest prime-time attraction, ABC's 9 p.m. edition of 20/20, had 149,030 viewers. The Rangers, who won Friday's game, also were the day's top draw with 18-to-49-year-olds.

In Friday's local new derby results, WFAA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 did likewise at 6 a.m. while the early evening races were split.

At 6 p.m., WFAA8 won in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds. At 5 p.m., NBC5 topped the total viewer Nielsens while WFAA8 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Just three weekdays remain in the May "sweeps" ratings period, with most competitions still undecided. But WFAA8 looks to have a lock on the 6 p.m. race in total viewers and at 10 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11, which won both of those face-offs in May, has a chance to win only at 10 p.m. in total viewers. But the station could be caught at the tape by WFAA8, whose ABC network is providing more potent first-run lead-in programming. That includes Tuesday's Dancing with the Stars season finale while CBS bails out early with a 9 p.m. menu of Clash of the Commercials on Monday and crime series repeats on Tuesday and Wednesday.