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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., Oct. 19-23) -- Rangers stick a spur in Cowboys

The kid's in the picture: Derek Holland exits to tumultuous 9th inning ovation after pitching the game of his life. Photo: Ed Bark

Crunch the numbers, crunch all competing programming. Fox4 had a heaven-sent Sunday, courtesy of its network's back-to-back telecasts of the Dallas Cowboys' much-needed 34-7 win over the hapless St. Louis Rams and the Texas Rangers' must-win Game 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Rangers prevailed, not only with a 4-0 win but in a ratings battle against Jerry's ruling class.

Rangers-Cards, which ran from 7:06 to 10:14 p.m., drew the biggest World Series crowd to date, averaging 1,673,203 D-FW viewers with a peak of 1,937,393 between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m.

Cowboys-Rams (3:17 to 6:19 p.m.) had 1,273,531 viewers, peaking at 1,388,691 between 6 and 6:15 p.m. So that's an exceedingly rare blowout of the Cowboys matched only by last fall's Game 4 of the Series vs. an earlier same-day Cowboys home loss to Jacksonville.

Let's look at the Nielsen numbers for Games 1 through 3 of the World Series:

Game 1 (Wed., Oct. 19 from 7:06 to 10:13 p.m.) -- 1,381,916 viewers with a peak of 1,571,591 for the closing minutes. The Cardinals won 3-2.

Game 2 (Thurs., Oct. 20 from 7:06 to 10:11 p.m.) -- 1,368,368 viewers with a peak of 1,822,233 for the closing minutes. The Rangers won 2-1.

Game 3 (Sat., Oct. 22 from 7:06 to 11:10 p.m.) -- 1,273,531 with a peak of 1,551,260 between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. The Cardinals won 16-7.

OK, how do these first four games compare to Games 1-4 in October, 2010, when the Rangers made their first-ever trip to the World Series and squared off against the ultimately victorious San Francisco Giants? Here's a look back, with a reminder that there's been a little ratings deflation since then. Each Nielsen rating point now is worth 67,741 viewers compared to 69,257 last fall.

Game 1 (Wed., Oct. 27) -- 1,419,769 viewers. The Giants won 11-7.
Game 2 (Thurs., Oct. 28) -- 1,239,700 viewers. The Giants won 9-0.
Game 3 (Sat., Oct. 30) -- 1,205,072 viewers. The Rangers won 4-2.
Game 4 (Sun., Oct. 31) -- 1,288,180 viewers. The Giants won 4-0. (The Cowboys' home loss to Jacksonville earlier that day drew an average of 907,276 viewers. It made them 1-6 for the season.)

So even with each rating point counting for less, this year's World Series is doing better than last year's. And the numbers likely are only going to get better as the drama ratchets up in a Series now tied at 2 games apiece heading into Monday night's Game 5.

In other ratings news, Sunday's premiere of ABC's Once Upon A Time drew just 155,804 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour opposite Game 4 of the Series and a portion of NBC's mismatched Sunday Night Football game between the New Orleans Saints and sub-woeful Indianapolis Colts (Final score: 62-7).

Friday's World Series-less Nielsens again were paced by CBS' Blue Bloods, the night's biggest draw with 291,286 viewers.

Here are the local news derby results from Wednesday through Friday:

Wednesday -- WFAA8 won a downsized three-way race at 10 p.m. in total viewers, but NBC5 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 and the Peacock tied for first at 6 a.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 as usual dominating the 25-to-54 demographic. Fox4 swept the 6 p.m. competitions with its locally produced World Series-themed newscast. At 5 p.m., NBC5 and WFAA8 shared the gold in total viewers and were joined by Fox4 in a three-way first-place tie with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- WFAA8 ran the table at 10 p.m. in another downsized race. The 6 a.m. spoils were split between NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 swept both the 5 and 6 p.m. competitions.

Friday -- CBS11 was tops at 10 p.m. in total viewers while the Peacock finished first with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 then took control, sweeping the 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. slots and adding a 5 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 and NBC5 shared the 5 p.m. lead in total viewers.