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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Sept. 9) -- total, utter, complete dominance by NFL kickoff game

Rival networks might as well have gone dark in prime-time Thursday night.

NBC's NFL season kickoff, a rematch of last year's NFC championship game between the Saints and Vikings, mangled all in its path from 7 p.m. until game's end at 10:24 p.m.

The Saints' 14-9 win against Brett Favre's Vikings averaged 766,852 D-FW viewers, with a peak crowd of 848,288 viewers between 10 and 10:15 p.m.

Nothing else stood a chance, including CW33's premiere of Nikita (54,290 viewers) and Season 2 premiere of The Vampire Diaries (81,436 viewers) in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot.

Even CW's principal target audience of 18-to-34-year-old women flocked to football, which more than doubled Vampire Diaries' audience in this demographic and more than tripled Nikita's. And VP was lucky. It only had to go against a half-hour of the game following an overblown 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. kickoff preview show (featuring Taylor Swift and The Dave Matthews Band) that drew 285,025 total viewers to also easily win its time slot.

Nationally, NBC says it was the highest-rated NFL regular season prime-time game in 13 years, NBC's highest-rated regular season prime-time game ever and the highest-rated NFL Kickoff game ever. So there.

Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the first-place Texas Rangers showed signs of emerging from a prolonged slump by winning at Toronto for the second straight night and escaping with a not-so-horrible 4-6 road trip. But the game had just 81,436 total viewers, with half of it going into the teeth of football.

(Programming note: Friday's and Saturday's marquee home games against the Yankees will both be carried on TXA21. That's because the station swapped its scheduled Oct. 1st Friday night game with Fox Sports Southwest and got the Saturday game in return. Pretty good deal as it turns out.)

In Thursday's local news derby results, CBS11 won a downsized three-way 10 p.m. competition in total viewers while tying Fox4 for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds, the principal target audience for news programming on most stations.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. Nielsens and added twin wins at 5 p.m.

WFAA8 ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers while NBC5 won with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Additional programming notes: A half-hour special introducing The Landry Award will air Saturday, Sept. 11th at 2:30 p.m. on TXA21. Named after Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, the inaugural award will be given to this season's top North Texas high school football player, with a panel of former coaches and players, plus media members and "local leaders" making the choice. CBS11/TXA21 sports anchor Bill Jones and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown will helm the program, with a repeat scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 18th at 6:30 p.m. on CBS11.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 11th, CBS11 will air a companion Stand Up to Cancer special anchored by Doug Dunbar and Karen Borta. The 6 p.m. program is tied to Friday's national Stand Up to Cancer special, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and many other networks.