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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Sept. 28-Oct. 1) -- Cowboys dip below one mil mark while losing to Ram chargers

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A noon start never helps. Still, the Dallas Cowboys surprisingly fell below the one million viewers mark for the first time this season with Sunday’s 35-30 upset loss to the suddenly resurgent Los Angeles Rams.

Game 4 of the regular season on Fox stretched to 3:23 p.m. and averaged 981,599 D-FW viewers. Last season’s 13-3 Cowboys hit the million-plus mark for all 16 games.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-Rams averaged a lowly 407,302 viewers. Interest built down the stretch, though, with the final minutes of the game drawing highs of 1,177,918 total viewers and 490,686 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Meanwhile Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers played their final game of the season to a near-empty Nielsen house of 43,627 total viewers and 6,414 in the 18-to-49 realm.

The day also brought three prime-time network series premieres, none of which came close to outdrawing NBC’s less than scintillating Sunday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts. Seattle’s drubbing of Indy had 385,368 total viewers and 198,840 within the 18-to-49 demographic.

ABC’s 9 p.m. launch of Ten Days in the Valley was the biggest loser of the three series premieres, with just 65,440 total viewers and a sub-piddling 3,207 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

CBS’ 7:30 p.m. newbie, Wisdom of the Crowd, fared better with 167,235 total viewers in losing by a smidge to the 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. hour of ABC’s transplanted, two-hour Shark Tank (174,506 viewers). But Wisdom ran last among the Big Four broadcast networks with 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 28,864 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. while the first episode of Fox’s Ghosted had 64,142 viewers of the 18-to-49 range from 7:30 to 8 p.m. to top of all of that network’s prime-time programs. Ghosted ran fourth in total viewers, though, with 109,067.

On Saturday, Fox’s high-scoring, prime-time Oklahoma State-Texas Tech game led all college footballers with 232,675 total viewers.

Let’s move to Friday night, where ABC’s two-hour premiere of Marvel’s Inhumans had a tough go with 87,253 total viewers in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot. In the Big Four broadcast network universe, it beat only Fox’s competing 8 p.m. Season 2 launch of The Exorcist (43,627 viewers). CBS’ season premieres of MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 easily won from 7 to 9 p.m. with 181,778 and 225,404 viewers respectively before CBS’ first new fall episode of Blue Bloods jumped to 269,031 viewers.

Both MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 also had enough juice to win with 18-to-49-year-olds, but Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast nipped Blue Bloods to run first at 9 p.m.

Thursday’s premiere of NBC’s Will & Grace reboot got off to a solid start at 8 p.m. with 254,489 total viewers and 86,592 in the 18-to-49 demographic. W &G outdrew the 8 to 8:30 p.m. portion of CBS’ Thursday Night Football (Packers vs. Bears) in total viewers and ran second to the NFL with 18-to-49ers.

And now for the local news derby results.

Thursday -- In a downsized three-way race, NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again had twin wins at 6 a.m. and also won at both 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The firsts in total viewers went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 at 6 p.m.

Friday -- NBC5 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers and tied Fox4 and TEGNA8 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and the Peacock did likewise at both 5 and 6 p.m.

LOCAL TV NEWS BRIEF -- TEGNA8 president and general manager Mike Devlin is retiring from that position at the end of this year after rejoining the station from Houston’s KHOU-TV in 2005. Earlier in his career he had been a reporter with the Dallas-based station.

TEGNA corporate exec Peter Diaz, in a memo to station staffers, said in part, “Mike’s career reads like a great book -- the kind you like to talk about, pass around, give as gifts, re-read and eventually pass down to future generations. We are grateful for everything he has contributed to our industry and TEGNA.”

TEGNA has not yet decided on a replacement for Devlin. Unclebarky.com wishes him a long and relaxing retirement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net