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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Thurs., March 21-23) -- hoops hang in but are no slam dunk

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Thursday night’s quartet of Sweet 16 NCAA tournament games, the two most-watched ones on CBS, couldn’t beat ABC’s trio of sudsy serial dramas in overall audience appeal.

Grey’s Anatomy was the night’s top D-FW draw with 181,776 viewers before Scandal won the 8 p.m. hour with 138,151. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast, also with 138,151 viewers then narrowly outdrew The Catch and the early portion of CBS’ Kansas-Purdue matchup, which became a Jayhawks rout in the second half.

CBS’ early game, a last-second, one-point win by Oregon over Michigan, ended up averaging 87,253 viewers before Kansas-Purdue perked up to 116,338. Both games had bigger audiences than TBS’ doubleheader of Gonzaga and West Virginia followed by Xavier-Arizona.

The CBS games fared considerably better among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, with the 7 to 8 p.m. portion of Gonzaga and Michigan spanking Grey’s Anatomy before Kansas-Purdue beat all competing prime-time and late night programming in this key demographic. The Kansas-Purdue matchup again ranked highest among the four games with 57,728 viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old realm.

Wednesday’s prime-time attractions were topped by the return of Fox’s Empire, which had 261,760 total viewers and 112,249 in the 18-to-49 age range. The preceding 7 p.m. launch of Fox’s Shots Fired drew 116,338 total viewers to run second in that hour to CBS’ Survivor: Game Changers (189,049). Survivor also won at 7 p.m. with 18-to-49-year-olds. NBC’s Chicago P.D. ran first at 9 p.m. in both ratings realms.

Hello Tuesday, where NBC’s 7 p.m. hour of The Voice easily ranked No. 1 among all programming with 312,657 total viewers and 99,420 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. But CBS’ usually potent NCIS-led lineup was in reruns from 7 to 10 p.m.

And now for the Tuesday-Thursday local news derby results.

Tuesday -- NBC5 won in total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The two stations tied for the most total viewers at 6 a.m., but the Peacock nipped Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 ran the table at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Wednesday -- The 10 p.m. firsts were split between TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The Peacock swept the 6 a.m. races and Fox4 did likewise at 5 p.m. TEGNA8 edged NBC5 in total viewers at 6 p.m. and Fox4 narrowly bested the Peacock in the 25-to-54 age range.

Thursday -- The 10 p.m. golds again were divided between TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and also won at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds and 5 p.m. in total viewers. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. and Fox4 broke through for a 5 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 measurement. CBS11’s 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts were preempted by CBS’ NCAA hoops coverage.

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