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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Aug. 27)

D-FW audiences for Democratic convention coverage on NBC and CBS again fell sharply despite sizable lead-in advantages while ABC saw its rating arrow point upward.

Before detailing the latest 9 to 10 p.m. Nielsens -- when seven networks went head-to-head from Denver -- here's a look at what NBC, CBS and ABC inherited from 8:45 to 9 p.m.:

America's Got Talent (NBC) -- 182,670 homes
Criminal Minds (CBS) -- 160,750 homes
Supernanny (ABC) -- 82,810 homes

Here are the 9 to 10 p.m. convention rankings:

ABC -- 85,246 homes
NBC -- 70,632 homes
FNC and CNN -- 63,326 homes each
CBS and MSNBC -- 48, 712 homes each
PBS -- 46,276 homes

In other words, CBS is getting perilously close to being the least-watched network for convention coverage in the country's fifth-largest television market. MSNBC's parity with CBS on Wednesday night is pretty astonishing.

The local news Nielsens gave WFAA8 sweeps at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in total homes and among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

But those aren't the numbers that management is watching closest. With classrooms back in play, WFAA8 continues to struggle in the key 6 a.m. competition, where Fox 4 won again Wednesday in both ratings measurements.

NBC5 ran second and WFAA8 remained in third. In the total homes measurement, WFAA8 finished farther behind Fox 4 -- a deficit of 26,792 homes -- than it ran ahead of perennially last CBS11 (a gap of 17,049 homes).

WFAA8 won the early morning May "sweeps" ratings competition. But its resultant summertime downturn is showing signs of carrying over into the school year.