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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (catchup round -- Thurs., Jan. 7 to Sat., Jan. 16

Because of the Martin Luther King holiday, Sunday's ratings for the season's final Dallas Cowboys game likely won't be unavailable until Tuesday. But we'll catch you up on all the other days we missed while at the TV Critics Association "press tour" in Pasadena. These brief digests run from Thursday, Jan. 7 -- the day of the Texas-Alabama national championship game -- through Saturday, Jan. 16.

Alabama's win over a mostly Colt McCoy-less Texas rolled through the prime-time ratings and averaged a Cowboys-sized 1,302,970 D-FW viewers on ABC. The second most-watched prime-time attraction, a repeat of CBS' The Mentalist, managed to draw 210,375 viewers.

Local news derby: CBS11 won a downsized three-way race at 10 p.m. in total viewers and tied for first with NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

The Peacock ran the table at 6 a.m., with audiences inflated across the board by the day's arctic-like weather. WFAA8 notched a 6 p.m. win in total viewers and tied NBC5 for first in that measurement at 5 p.m. Fox4 won at both 5 and 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS' won the first and third hours of prime-time in total viewers with a supernatural/crime combo of Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs. But TXA21's Mavs-Spurs edged CBS' Medium in the 8 p.m. hour.

Local news derby: WFAA8 took the 10 p.m. gold in total viewers while CBS11 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 again swept the 6 a.m. Nielsens and WFAA8 did likewise at 5 p.m. It was a split decision at 6 p.m., with WFAA8 running first in total viewers and Fox4 setting the pace in the 25--to-54 age group.

The Cowboys' opening playoff thrashing of the Eagles -- ah, good times -- fell just shy of the 2 million mark, averaging 1,940,882 viewers in prime-time on NBC. That made it the season's most-watched game, beating the Jan. 3rd Dallas-Philadelphia regular season finale by almost 200,000 viewers locally. It's still to be determined whether Sunday's Cowboys-Vikings blowout blew past the two million mark -- or petered out down the stretch.

Saturday's preceding Jets-Bengals game on NBC averaged a nice-sized 698,989 viewers.

SUNDAY, Jan. 10
The Packers' wild OT loss to Arizona easily topped all viewing choices, pulling in 936,509 viewers on Fox. CBS' early game, with the Ravens beating New England, averaged 617,553 viewers.

NBC's two-hour return of Chuck, from 8 to 10 p.m., fared reasonably well with 264,666 viewers.

Another new episode of Chuck hung tough in the 7 p.m. hour, drawing 230,734 total viewers to tie the first hour of ABC's scandal-juiced, Dallas-themed The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love for a close second behind Fox's new episode of House. Chuck had second place to itself among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds (the key demographic for entertainment programming), with House again on top.

NBC's return of Heroes then plunged to a distant fourth place at 8 p.m. in both ratings measurements. CBS controlled the 8 to 10 p.m. slot with first-run episodes of Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and CSI: Miami.

Local news derby: WFAA8 handily won at 10 p.m. in total viewers but couldn't hold serve with 25-to-54-year-olds, where NBC5 finished on top.

The Peacock also claimed another pair of 6 a.m. golds; WFAA8 swept the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts in total viewers, with Fox4 doing likewise in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Here comes Fox's Season 9 premiere of American Idol, turning NBC's The Biggest Loser into a bigger loser while CBS fights valiantly with its pair of NCIS hours.

The two-hour re-launch of Idol easily controlled the 7 to 9 p.m. slot, averaging 637,912 total viewers while also crunching the competition among 18-to-49-year-olds.

New hours of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles respectively drew 420,751 and 400,392 total viewers to run a solid second. Loser dipped to 149,299 viewers for its two hours, still easily good enough to beat ABC's mix of Scrubs and Better Off Ted.

CBS then won at 9 p.m. in total viewers with a new episode of The Good Wife. But Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast, with a big lead-in boost from Idol, had a slight edge among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Local news derby: CBS11 controlled the 10 p.m. numbers, with an especially big win among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 broke into the winner's circle at 6 a.m., outpointing NBC5 in total viewers. But the Peacock had a slight edge with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 ran the table at 6 p.m.; the 5 p.m. spoils were split between NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demo.

Idol's total viewer count fell off slightly, to 610,767. But it upped its 18-to-49 total from the previous night in again decimating all competing programming from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

A repeat of The Simpsons' 450th episode, substituted for the preempted Our Little Genius, then plummeted to 162,871 viewers opposite the second half of a new episode of CBS' Criminal Minds (434,323 viewers overall). CBS also won the 9 p.m hour in both ratings measurements with CSI:NY (352,888 viewers).

Local news derby: CBS11 rolled to its second straight sweep of the 10 p.m. ratings while NBC returned to both top spots at 6 a.m.
Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. competitions and also notched another win at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers.

Fox, ABC and CBS shared the prime-time spoils with new episodes of crowd favorites.

Fox's still calcium-rich Bones opened the night with 325,742 total viewers while also winning easily among 18-to-49-year-olds. ABC's Grey's Anatomy swept the 8 p.m. Nielsens; at 9 p.m., CBS' The Mentalist won in total viewers but was beaten by ABC's Private Practice in the 18-to-49 demographic. Overall, Grey's had the night's biggest haul, with 461,468 viewers.

Local news derby: CBS11 stretched its 10 p.m. streak to three straight weeknights with wins in both ratings measurements.

NBC again held off Fox4 to win both 6 a.m. competitions. WFAA8 finished first at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers, but Fox 4 remained strong in the 25-to-54 demo with twin wins.

No major developments in prime-time, where CBS ran first from start to finish with a lineup of Ghost Whisperer, Medium and Numb3rs.

Local news derby: WFAA8 ended CBS11's three-night streak with a 10 p.m. win in total viewers while NBC5 uncommonly won at that hour with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 took the 6 a.m. gold in total viewers but fell back to second behind the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

WFAA8 and CBS11 tied for first at 6 p.m. in total viewers. At 5 p.m. it was a tie between Fox4 and NBC5. But Fox4 again had the spoils to itself at both hours in the 25-to-54 demo.

Two one-sided NFL playoff games controlled the ratings picture.

CBS' prime-time telecast of the Colts' win over the Ravens was the day's big scorer with 855,074 total viewers. Earlier on Fox, the Saints' demolition of Arizona averaged 780,425 viewers.