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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Feb. 4) -- slippage for The Following & dropoff for Dallas while Castle gets kinged

Fox's The Following hit its first ratings pothole while TNT's competing third episode of Dallas slid further in the D-FW Nielsens. Still, both shows were their network's most-watched attractions Monday.

The Following's third episode had 227,179 viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, significantly down from the previous Monday's 344,210. It outdrew the second hours of ABC's The Bachelor and NBC's The Biggest Loser but was edged by new episodes of CBS' 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly (234,063 viewers each).

Dallas, also airing at 8 p.m., had 103,263 viewers after last week's first two episodes of Season 2 drew 151,452 and 144,568 viewers.

Of more concern to Fox was The Following's bigger fall-off among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. Monday's episode had 63,788 viewers in this key audience demographic compared to last week's 133,955. The big dip put The Following in fourth place among the Big Four broadcast networks.

Dallas had 38,273 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range, down from 54,220 and 57,409 for the show's first two episodes.

TNT's premiere of the medical drama Monday Mornings fell to 55,074 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, with 25,515 of them in the 18-to-49 age range.

ABC's Castle ranked as 9 p.m.'s big gun, winning its time slot in both total viewers (302,905) and 18-to-49-year-olds (92,493). NBC's new Deception continued to slump in the 9 p.m. hour with fourth place finishes in both ratings measurements.

CW33's comedy-infused Nightcap News endured another big ratings pratfall, particularly among 18-to-49-year-olds. It had a disastrous 956 viewers in this age range after the CW network's 8 p.m. episode of Beverly Hills 90210 furnished it with 19,136 in its final 15-minute segment.

Katie Couric's syndicated Katie also again fell flat in the 4 p.m. slot, with out-of-the-money fourth place finishes in total viewers, 25-to-54-year-olds and 18-to-49-year-olds. WFAA8's following 5 p.m. local newscast continued to pay a price, respectively running third, fourth and fourth in those three major ratings barometers.

Here are Monday's local news derby results on the third weekday of the ongoing four-week February "sweeps."

WFAA8 rolled to Castle-spiked wins at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. It underscored the difference between having a Castle and a Katie as your lead-in.

Fox4 again commanded the 6 p.m. Nielsens in both measurements while CBS11 perked up a bit by beating NBC5 in total viewers and tying the Peacock for third place among 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 ran second in both measurements.

Fox4 finished first at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic. The total viewer golds went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and CBS11 at 6 p.m.