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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Feb. 22-24) -- Oscars still fading


Spike Lee wore the color purple while accepting his first Oscar. Sunday’s ceremony went host-less for the first time since 1989. Photo: Ed Bark

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The Oscars continued to downshift in the D-FW ratings Sunday night after going host-less for the first time in three decades.

ABC’s three hour, 21 minute ceremony, which was a half-hour shorter than last year’s, averaged 674,813 D-FW viewers, with 253,613 of them in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old age range.

The 2018 Oscar-cast, delayed until March 4th to avoid direct competition with NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage, drew 726,454 total viewers and 308,939 in the 18-to-49 realm. Two years ago, the Oscars had 763,466 viewers and 339,953 in the 18-to-49 demographic. Both of those ceremonies were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The last Oscar ceremony to hit the one million viewers mark in D-FW came in 2015, with Neil Patrick Harris presiding. It averaged 1,004,256 viewers, with 428,197 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

ABC trumpeted a full one-hour “sneak preview” of its new series Whiskey Cavalier throughout the Oscars. It was supposed to air immediately following the ceremony. But in D-FW, WFAA8 (the only Big Four broadcast entity not owned by its parent network) instead went to its late night local newscast, which started at 10:25 p.m. That pushed Whiskey back to a 10:57 p.m. start in the country’s fifth largest TV market. ABC doesn’t like it when local stations disturb what it sees as the natural order of things. Fox-owned Fox4, NBC-owned NBC5 and CBS-owned CBS11 wouldn’t be allowed to make such a move.

Anyway, the WFAA8 newscast drew 295,231 total viewers before Whiskey dropped way off to 98,410. For those who care all that much, the same episode of Whiskey will be repeated in its regular 9 p.m. Wednesday slot on Feb. 27th, which is the final day of the February “sweeps” ratings period.

Elsewhere Sunday night, Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast easily fared the best opposite the Oscars, drawing a sizable crowd of 182,762 total viewers.

In Friday’s prime-time festivities, CBS’ 8 p.m. hour of Hawaii Five-0 paced all programming in total viewers with 246,026 while NBC’s 7 p.m. episode of The Blacklist drew the most 18-to-49ers (45,288).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results on the 17th weekday of the February sweeps.

CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Barring a big stumble down the stretch, CBS11 will repeat as the 10 p.m. champ in the total viewers measurement after the station’s upset win in the November sweeps.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 had twin wins at 5 p.m. The Peacock and WFAA8 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m., with WFAA8 alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds in a tight three-way race with Fox4 and NBC5.

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