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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun, Feb. 23-25)

Here's a ratings shocker -- right here in D-FW.

Sunday night's elongated Oscar-cast on ABC of course squashed the competition, drawing an overall average of 571,692 homes from 7:30 to 11:15 p.m.

But last Thursday's episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy lured more 18-to-49-year-olds, the audience that networks bank heavily on when selling advertising. And it wasn't even all that close. Here's the breakdown in D-FW:

Grey's Anatomy -- 447,000 in the 18-49 demo.
The Oscars -- 403,160

Grey's also drew more 25-to-54-year-olds and 18-to-34-year-olds locally than the 79th annual Oscars, which were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Wow, maybe next time they should get Dr. McDreamy to preside in smocks.

The annual Barbara Walters Oscar night interview special attracted a modest 178,500 homes, winning its 6 to 7 p.m. slot opposite a 60 Minutes repeat (142,800 homes) featuring Mike Wallace's interview with Bill O'Reilly. ABC's awful half-hour red carpet show then pulled in a very nice-sized 409,360 homes before the Oscar-cast jumped to 525,980 homes in its initial 15 minutes.

Oscar's audience peaked at 618,800 homes from 9 to 9:15 p.m. and hit its lowest point from 11 to 11:15 p.m. (509,320 homes). Then the closing credits and video recap rolled before the show officially called it a night at 11:21 p.m.

On Saturday night in D-FW, the Dallas Mavericks-Denver Nuggets game dominated the prime-time ratings, drawing 164,220 homes on TXA21. In contrast, Sunday afternoon's Dallas Stars-Vancouver Canucks contest was watched in 9,520 homes on My27.

In Friday's local news wars, Belo8 edged NBC5 in homes at 10 p.m. to remain ahead of the Peacock with just three nights remaining in the February sweeps. NBC5, which hasn't lost a sweeps competition at 10 p.m. since fall 2001, has a rapidly diminishing chance to catch Belo8. But it would have to score some relatively lopsided wins down the stretch, and that' s not likely.

Belo8 also won at 10 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds, the target advertiser audience for news programming. It still might beat the Peacock in that key demo, but will need a very strong finishing kick.

NBC5 won at 6 a.m. in homes, and looks as though it's going to carry the day there. But Belo8 nipped runnerup Fox4 and NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds, where it still has the lead in a close three-way tiff.

NBC5 won at 5 and 6 p.m. in homes, but Belo8 has those two races in the bank. Belo8 also will win the early evening news sweeps among 25-to-54-year-olds, where it had twin victories on Friday.