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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Jan. 7) -- Notre Dame pratfall deflates championship game crowd

As expected, ESPN's college national championship football game between Alabama and Notre Dame dominated Monday's prime-time D-FW Nielsens.

But the Crimson Tide's 42-14 demolition of the alleged Fighting Irish put an early lid on any really big ratings expectations. Grinding to a merciful halt at 10:40 p.m., the game averaged 578,273 viewers. That fell short of Friday night's Cotton Bowl and all four of the past weekend's NFL playoff games.

Alabama-Notre Dame peaked at 709,073 viewers between 8 and 8:15 p.m. In the final full 15-minute segment -- 10:15 to 10:30 p.m. -- the number dove down to 419,936 total viewers.

CBS punted in prime-time with an all-repeat lineup while Fox served up a Bones repeat and a throwaway final episode of its canceled The Mob Doctor. But ABC and NBC went with all-new programming, including the premiere of the Peacock's Deception.

NBC's two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser had 185,873 viewers to beat ABC's return of The Bachelor (151,452 viewers) despite the presence of Dallas resident Sean Lowe in the title role. But ABC retaliated at 9 p.m., with its new hour of Castle beating Deception by a score of 206,526 viewers to 144,568. Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast (165,221 viewers) also outdrew Deception.

Biggest Loser thumped Bachelor by a bigger margin among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. But at 9 p.m., Deception outdrew Castle in this key demographic while both dramas ran behind Fox4's news.

In Monday's four-way local news derby results, WFAA8 ran the table at 6 and 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. competitions and also ran first at 6 a.m. in total viewers. Fox4 and NBC5 tied for the 6 a.m. lead among 25-to-54-year-olds.