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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., May 8-10) -- Mavs ratings build to heart-crushing climax

ESPN's Game 3 of the Mavs-Denver playoff series gathered ratings steam from late afternoon to early evening Saturday, peaking at 478,296 D-FW viewers for the horror show finish.

As we all know by now, that's when the refs stopped whistling while they worked. Bang-o. Carmelo Anthony nails a fatal three-pointer after Antoine Wright's intentional hack isn't called.

Overall the game averaged 279,006 viewers, a sharp dropoff from the 431,795 who watched Game 1 on ABC and the 385,294 for Game 2 on TNT. Sports bar audiences aren't in this mix, though, and those crowds no doubt were significant on a Saturday.

NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Justin Timberlake hosting, had a nice-sized 172,718 viewers to control the 10:30 to midnight slot.

On Sunday afternoon, the first-place Texas Rangers scraped up a little love on MY27, drawing 99,645 viewers for their road win in Chicago. Sunday's biggest overall draw, WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast, had 265,720 viewers before Dale Hansen's Sports Special (159,432 viewers) thumped competition from Newy Scruggs' Out of Bounds on NBC5 (59,787 viewers) and Babe Laufenberg's The Score on CBS11 (53,144 viewers).

Mike Doocy's earlier starting 10 p.m. Sports Sunday show on Fox4 had 86,359 viewers.

Friday night's season -- and most likely series -- finale of Fox's Dollhouse did virtually no business in the 8 p.m. hour. It had just 33,215 viewers while also faring poorly among advertiser-favored 18-to-49-year-olds. Even "The 33's" ratings-challenged 9 p.m. local newscast had more viewers in both measurements.

In Friday's four-way local news derbies, CBS11 edged WFAA8 at 10 p.m. in total viewers while the ABC station and NBC5 tied for first among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

The Peacock continued its winning ways at 6 a.m. with comfortable margins in both ratings measurements. Meanwhile, CBS11 perked up to tie WFAA8 for third in total viewers and claim the bronze for itself in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Fox4 swept the 6 p.m. ratings and also had the total viewers gold at 5 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first at 5 p.m. in total viewers.