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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., March 21-23) -- AMC's unstoppable Walking Dead

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Three new broadcast network series, all offering their third episodes, went up against AMC’s The Walking Dead in Sunday’s 8 p.m. hour. None lived to tell the tale.

Walking Dead’s zombie hordes and human leftovers galloped to a total of 369,268 D-FW viewers, with an astounding 270,306 of them within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 motherlode.

ABC’s competing Resurrection put up the bravest front, drawing 255,647 total viewers opposite NBC’s Believe (120,722) and Fox’s sinking Cosmos (78,114). In the 18-to-49 demographic, Resurrection had 104,214, followed by Believe (32,567) and Cosmos (29,310).

CBS’ NCAA basketball run over left the network with a mix of The Amazing Race and The Good Wife from 8 to 9 p.m. That combo had 177,534 total viewers and 48,851 in the 18-to-49 range. So the sum total of 18-to-49-year-old viewers for the Big Four broadcast networks was 214,942. That’s still more than 50,000 shy of Walking Dead’s haul.

At 7 p.m., the premiere of NBC’s American Dream Builders was dead on arrival with just 63,912 total viewers and 19,540 in the 18-to-49 age range. Scrap those construction plans. This one instead is ready for the scrap heap.

CBS won Sunday’s afternoon and early evening hours with back-to-back-to-back NCAA basketball games. Fox’s competing NASCAR race looped into second place while Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill golf tournament ran a distant third on NBC.

On Saturday, Michigan’s win over Texas, eliminating the Longhorns from the tournament, averaged 149,127 total viewers in its late afternoon/early evening slot. The plucky Bucky Badgers’ highly entertaining (for me) comeback win over run ’n’ gun Oregon ran second to UT-Michigan with 127,823 viewers.

CBS’ prime-time Friday hoops were whipped from 8 to 10 p.m. by ABC’s Shark Tank and 20/20 in total viewers. But basketball edged 20/20 among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results:

WFAA8 swept a downsized three-way race at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. CBS11 was bumped by its network’s basketball coverage.

Fox4 as usual ran the table at 6 a.m. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 and 6 p.m. while WFAA8 took both top spots with 25-to-54-year-olds. Basketball preempted CBS11’s 6 p.m. edition.

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