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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Sept. 5-7)

Re-flexing in the D-FW Nielsens after time off for bad behavior in last season's NFL playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys dominated Sunday's TV attractions in much the same way they manhandled Cleveland.

The 2008 season opener on Fox averaged 759,907 total homes from start (3:15 p.m.) to finish (6:05 p.m.). That's down from last season's higher-profile prime-time NBC kickoff, in which Dallas beat the Giants to the tune of 803,748 homes.

This time the Peacock's Sunday night matchup, with the Bears upsetting the Colts, attracted 297,143 D-FW homes. Brett Favre's debut with the Jets, who beat the Dolpins, drew 258,174 homes on CBS while the Eagles slaughtered the Rams at the same time on Fox (175,363 homes).

Also on Sunday, the last half-hour of the women's U.S. tennis open final, won by Serena Williams, managed 94,988 homes from 10 to 10:30 p.m. on CBS.

Fox's heavily promoted Sunday night sneak preview of the Japan-imported Hole in the Wall drew a nice-sized 219,204 homes from 7 to 7:30 p.m. But ratings fell sharply during the second 15 minutes of this one-note, near-hysterical answer to the summertime success of ABC's Wipeout. For full enjoyment you probably needed to have a hole in the head. Co-host Brooke Burns, a Dallas native, apparently drained at least a 12-pack of Red Bulls before taking the stage to flog an opening night competition between the taunting "Beer Belly" and Six Pack" teams.

On Friday night, the simultaneous three-way presentation of Stand Up to Cancer on ABC, CBS and NBC drew a combined 153,443 homes between 7 and 8 p.m.

The competing first hour of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, with 10-year-old Bryce Cass of Rockwall joining the new roster of "classmates," had 124,216 homes on Fox alone. The second hour improved to 172,928 homes. And 5th Grader drew more advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds from 7 to 8 p.m. than the entire audience in that demographic for the cancer fundraiser, co-hosted by network news anchors Charles Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Williams.

In the local news derby, WFAA8 and NBC5 traded punches at 10 p.m., with the ABC station taking first in total homes and the Peacock winning with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 aced the 6 a.m. ratings in both measurements and WFAA8 did likewise at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. competition was won by WFAA8 in total homes and NBC5 in the 25-to-54 demo.