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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., May 21)

Fox's two-hour Season 7 American Idol finale predictably crushed all in its path Wednesday as the May sweeps ended a four-week run just shy of Memorial Day weekend.

Idol averaged 365,340 D-FW homes, ballooning to 467,635 in the closing 15 minutes. From 8:45 to 9 p.m., Idol also amassed 343,721 advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, a huge bounty. Prime-time's next closest performer in this key demo, the last 15 minutes of CBS' Criminal Minds, drew 110,369 viewers in the 18-to-49 age group.

Fox4's following 9 p.m. local newscast also reaped big dividends, although the audience dropped sharply after the first 15 minutes. But the news still averaged 267,916 homes overall, easily enough to thump CBS' runnerup CSI: NY (209,462 homes). Fox4's news also won by wide margins among 18-to-49-year-olds and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

In the four-way local news derby, WFAA8 finished with a flourish in the hotly contested 6 a.m. race, edging Fox4 in total homes and winning more comfortably among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The ABC station also won across the board at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., rolling to its first double grand slam of the May sweeps. WFAA8's four major newscasts last circled the bases twice on April 8th.