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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Sept. 21-23)

The Cowboys rocked to a season ratings high Sunday night, with an average of 854,896 D-FW homes tuned to the team's Bear trap on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

That beat the Dallas-New York Giants season opener, also on NBC's prime-time showcase. It drew 803,748 homes.

Sunday night's latest win peaked at close to a million homes (954,755) between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. The night's most-watched competing attraction, the 9 p.m. second season premiere of CBS' Shark, managed 165,621 homes.

The Cowboys also were a Colossus among among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 644,800 of 'em. Fox's 7 p.m. season premiere of The Simpsons and ABC's Desperate Housewives clip show tied for second place with 18-to-49-year-olds, totaling 111,600 apiece.

D-FW also warmed to Fox's Giants-Redskins game , which dominated the late afternoon/early evening Nielsens with 323,935 total homes. CBS' earlier Colts-Texans game had a nice-sized 253,302 homes.

The day's three NFL games were the only TV attractions to draw double-digit Nielsen ratings under their own power, with each point equaling 24,356 homes. NBC5's late night local newscast/post-game show, pushed past 10:30 p.m., happily splashed along with the massive Cowboys lead-in, drawing 299,579 homes.

In Friday's local newscast battles, Belo8 rode to wins at 10 p.m. in both total homes and among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 took first place in both rating measurements at 6 a.m., and Belo8 did likewise at 5 p.m. The ABC station also won at 6 p.m. in total homes and tied with NBC5 at that hour among 25-to-54-year-olds.