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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., July 4-5) -- Talent wins out, whips Casey Anthony special

Post-Fourth of July fireworks came from an Orlando, FL courtroom Tuesday, with TV pontificators all shocked at the "Not Guilty" verdict in Casey Anthony's murder trial.

The jury's rejection of the prosecution's charge that she had murdered her two-year-old daughter became a nationally televised combination of reality series/soap opera during its nearly six-week running time. Many potential viewers were at work or on vacation when the verdict came down between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The in-home Nielsen ratings show that 69,257 D-FW viewers chose Fox News Channel while 41,542 watched CNN and 6,926 went to MSNBC. Those were all daytime ratings "spikes," but not big ones considering the national notoriety of the trial.

In prime-time, CBS quickly slapped together a 9 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery special -- "Casey Anthony: Judgment Day" -- while ABC's Nightline offered an extended one-hour Anthony edition.

48 Hours Mystery had 145,440 viewers in trailing both the last hour of NBC's America's Got Talent (332,434 viewers) and Fox4's competing local newscast (166,217 viewers). The Anthony recap edged ABC's 9 p.m. third episode of Combat Hospital (138,514), which nonetheless ranked as its network's No. 1 attraction of the night after a limp lead-in from 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show (69,257 viewers).

Among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, 48 Hours Mystery tied Fox4's news for second place, with both finishing just a hair ahead of Combat Hospital.

Nightline's Anthony special matched the CBS hour with 145,440 viewers while outdrawing all late night competitors.

On Fourth of July night, three fireworks special squared off at 9 p.m. CBS' Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular got ooh ahs from 186,994 total viewers while NBC's Macy's Fireworks Spectacular had 110,811 viewers in its 9 p.m. hour but 200,845 for its 8 to 9 p.m. preliminaries. PBS' annual A Capitol Fourth managed 62,331 viewers. It was the same order of finish with 18-to-49-year-olds.

All of the four major local TV news providers took holiday knees on the Fourth, meaning that the ratings don't count.

On back-to-business Tuesday, NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first place at 10 p.m. with 221,622 total viewers apiece. But the Peacock thumped all comers among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 also scored a total viewers win at 6 a.m. while tying Fox4 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 5 p.m. and added another gold at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic. WFAA8 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers.