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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 3-4) -- Madoff bombs, Idol wins big, Dem debate does OK

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Thursday night’s selection of American Idol’s 24 finalists, including Dalton Rapattoni of Dallas/Sunnyvale, put Fox and Fox4 in almost total control of prime-time on the first day of the February “sweeps” ratings period.

The farewell season of Fox’s game-changing singing competition averaged 332,8733 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. That was good enough to win from start to stop, with even CBS’ The Big Bang Theory running slightly behind Idol’s first half-hour.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Idol won from 7:30 to 9 p.m. with 117,501 viewers. But Big Bang prevailed from 7 to 7:30 p.m. by a score of 130,204 viewers to 107,974.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then won its time slot in both measurements, with 219,554 total viewers and 79,393 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Over on MSNBC, the free-swinging 8 to 10 p.m. Democratic presidential candidate debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders drew 120,401 total viewers and 47,636 in the 18-to-49 demographic. That’s pretty much a spectacular showing for MSNBC, which easily outdrew Fox News Channel and CNN during those two hours.

ABC’s 7 to 9 p.m. Part 2 of Madoff, starring Richard Dreyfuss, had 92,071 total viewers and a sub-puny 9,527 in the 18-to-49 realm. The network’s followup news special, Madoff: After the Fall, did considerably better on both counts with 134,566 total viewers and 34,933 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Wednesday’s prime-time festivities also were led by Idol, which outdrew all programming in both total viewers (318,708) and 18-to-49-year-olds (101,622). Part 1 of Madoff had respective totals of 127,483 and 28,581 viewers before losing ground with Thursday’s conclusion.

Here are the Wednesday/Thursday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but TEGNA8 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 cruised to another pair of wins at 6 a.m. and NBC5 drew the most total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. Among 25-to-54-year-olds, Fox4 ran first at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 won at 6 p.m.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 opened strong on the first day of the February sweeps with twin wins at 10 p.m.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The Peacock and TEGNA8 shared first place in total viewers at 6 p.m., but NBC5 had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

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