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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 1-2) -- Idol edges Big Bang, NBC5 news makes surprise showing on first day of Feb. "sweeps"

The Big 4 broadcast networks, and The CW, loaded up with all-new programming Thursday on opening night of the four-week February "sweeps" ratings period.

In another battle of the night's two Titans, the first half-hour of Fox's American Idol reversed last week's losses to CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

Idol amassed 448,445 D-FW viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m., with Big Bang drawing 420,672. Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Idol won by a score of 164,118 to 152,750.

The second half of Idol then upped its audience while smashing CBS' competing Rob. Overall, Idol averaged a night's best 494,509 total viewers.

CBS won the 8 to 10 p.m. hours with new episodes of its regular crime combo, Person of Interest and The Mentalist. But ABC's first-run medical medley, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, topped the charts with 18-to-49-year-olds.

NBC's 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation ran a disastrous fifth in total viewers from 7 to 8 p.m., losing even to The CW's Vampire Diaries. The Peacock's best overall performer, The Office, had just 128,708 total viewers at 8 p.m. It ran a distant fourth in that measurement while moving up to third with 18-to-49-year-olds ahead of the opening half of Person of Interest.

Despite having no help whatsoever from its parent network, NBC5 pulled off a surprisingly strong showing in the February sweeps' first running of the local news derby.

The Peacock had a 10 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. And NBC5 swept the 5 and 6 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had a 10 p.m. win in total viewers while Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m.

WFAA8 was shut out on opening night, but had a silver lining at 6 a.m. The station's Daybreak ran a solid second with 25-to-54-year-olds, improving markedly after a steady and ongoing barrage of promotions for co-anchor Ron "Taking Over the Morning" Corning.

WFAA8 long has been the third-place station at this early hour, but now has a realistic chance to out-duel NBC5 for the runner-up spot in the key 25-to-54 demographic. The Peacock is still likely to hold on to second place in total viewers, but that could be close, too.

On sweeps eve Wednesday, Idol flexed against mostly re-runs. Its 501,283 total viewers easily were the night's high.

The Dallas Mavericks' run-out-of-gas home loss to the smooth-running Oklahoma City Thunder drew a combined 135,482 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN. That's a surprisingly low number.

Wednesday's local news derby numbers went like this: CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers but WFAA8 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran first at 6 a.m. in total viewers while WFAA8 had the 25-to-54 gold. Both of the 5 p.m. wins went to Fox4, which also finished first at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demo. Fox4 and WFAA8 tied for the 6 p.m. top spot in total viewers.