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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 12) -- CBS11 rides Cowboys while TXA21 gets saddled with CBS fare

Thursday night's second Dallas Cowboys pre-season game, a lackluster 17-9 loss to stinko Oakland, rode to the usual ratings heights in football-craving D-FW.

Stretching from 8:08 to 11:07 p.m., the homegrown CBS11 telecast (with Bill Jones and Babe Laufenberg presiding) averaged 651,485 viewers while peaking at 827,929 between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, sister station TXA21 got the equivalent of a lousy t-shirt -- the regular CBS prime-time lineup. A new 7 p.m. episode of Big Brother 12 managed to draw 74,649 viewers opposite CBS11's Cowboys pre-game show (217,162 viewers). Repeats of CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Mentalist then parachuted into Death Valley with 20,359 and 27,145 viewers respectively. Both are all-time D-FW lows for those shows.

In other non-Cowboys results, Fox's two-hour So You Think You Can Dance season finale rang up prime-time's biggest score with 156,085 viewers. Save for the Cowboys, it also had Thursday night's biggest haul of advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Cowboys' run-over squeezed the juice out of local 10 p.m. newscast ratings, as did the late-ending Texas Rangers-New York Yankees games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

WFAA8 topped the downsized, three-way 10 p.m. field with just 142,512 total viewers while also prevailing among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.

At 6 a.m., Fox4 and NBC5 tied for first in total viewers while the Peacock had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

CBS11 dominated at 6 p.m. in both ratings measurements, drawing almost twice as many total viewers as its nearest competitor.

WFAA8 won in total viewers at 5 p.m. But NBC5 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds while WFAA8 drooped to fourth.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Investigator Brett Shipp's award-winning exposes on lethal faulty gas line couplings will be reprised on Saturday, Aug. 14th in a half-hour WFAA8 special titled Dangerous Couplings: The Buried and the Dead. The program will air at 6:30 p.m.

"This is as significant an investigation as we have ever reported," WFAA8 news director Michael Valentine said in a publicity release.

Shipp's reports, which began in 2006, earned WFAA8 the first-ever duPont-Columbia Gold Baton awarded to a local television station.