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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Thurs., Dec. 31-Jan. 2) -- sweet numbers for Sugar Bowl

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Oklahoma’s upset 45-31 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama drove ESPN’s ratings into over-drive Thursday night.

Running all the way to 11:24 p.m. -- even though the Sooners gained the bulk of their yards passing -- the Sugar Bowl averaged 589,408 D-FW viewers in dominating the prime-time field of play.

Left for dead in the 9 p.m. hour was sister network ABC’s premiere of the Cold War CIA drama The Assets. It drew just 85,216 viewers to trail football and competing programming on CBS and NBC plus Fox4’s local newscast.

NBC fared even worse with the return of Community from 7 to 8 p.m. It had 63,912 viewers opposite new episodes of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (461,585) and The Millers (262,748).

New Year’s Day’s biggest football attraction, heavily favored Baylor’s loss to Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl, averaged 454,483 viewers on ESPN. The network’s preceding Rose Bowl, in which Michigan State edged Stanford, ranked close behind with 418,977 viewers.

ESPNU’s 11 a.m.-starting Heart of Dallas bowl -- in which the University of North Texas whipped UNLV -- averaged 106,520 viewers. That fell short of ESPN’s daytime LSU-Iowa matchup (205,938 viewers) and ABC’s South Carolina-Wisconsin game (120,722). But UNT-UNLV beat the Nebraska-Georgia bowl game on ESPN2 (63,912 viewers).

The New Year’s Eve bowl parade was paced by Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel-fueled second half comeback against Duke. It averaged 383,470 viewers on ESPN.

CBS’ daytime presentation of El Paso’s Sun Bowl, in which UCLA thrashed Virginia Tech, barely registered with 49,709 viewers.

From 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., WFAA8’s annual live Big D NYE telecast from Victory Plaza drew a very nice-sized 284,052 viewers. Among competing attractions, only the last half-hour of the A&M-Duke game did better before WFAA8 took charge from 11 p.m. until closing.

The Dallas Morning News wasted no time in ringing out the old in Wednesday’s New Year’s Day edition.

The Metro section’s weather page immediately celebrated the paper’s new content-sharing agreement with NBC5 by eclipsing the beaming faces of WFAA8’s forecasters from the upper left-hand corner. Now pictured are six beaming NBC5 meteorologists. From left to right: head weatherman Rick Mitchell and fellow temperature takers Remeisha Shade, Lindsay Riley, David Finfrock, Samantha Davies and Grant Johnston.

WFAA8, still located a shared driveway away from The News in downtown Dallas, is now engaged in a modern day Cold War with its former longtime synergistic ally.

In Thursday’s local news derby ratings, the first of the new year after holiday exemptions, WFAA8 laughed last with 10 p.m. wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

But NBC5 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added a 5 p.m. first in total viewers. CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while Fox4 topped both early evening newscasts in the 25-to-54 demographic.

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