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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Sept. 10) -- rock 'em/sock 'em NFL opener sacks 10 p.m. newscasts

First off, what's up with Al Michaels' topper? Has it become equal parts toupee, comb-over, dye job, hair-in-a-can?

Just wondering before also noting that Michaels' appearance is irrelevant when behemoths are smashing into each other in Thursday night's defense-minded NFL opener between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans.

NBC had the game and rival networks needn't have bothered. The defending Super Bowl champs' 13-10 overtime win over Tennessee, which didn't end until 10:48 p.m., smashed everything in its wake, including three competing latenight local newscasts.

Steelers-Titans averaged 471,653 D-FW viewers, topping the 438,438 who watched last Friday's final pre-season game between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings.

The game also sacked Thursday's nearly defenseless trio of 10 p.m. newscasts on Fox4, WFAA8 and CBS11.

Pittsburgh-Tennessee had 518,154 viewers from 10 to 10:30 p.m. while the most-watched news -- on WFAA8 -- managed 186,004 viewers. The combined audience for the three newscasts (484,939 viewers) fell short of the football crowd on NBC5.

Earlier in prime-time, The CW's premiere of The Vampire Diaries drew 86,359 viewers to finish fourth in the 7 p.m. hour. It also ran fourth among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, in each case beating a competing Grey's Anatomy rerun on ABC.

CW's season premiere of Supernatural fell to just 53,144 total viewers at 8 p.m., drooping to fifth place in both audience measurements.

Both series failed to hit bullseyes with CW's target audience of 18-to-34-year-old women, with each placing fifth in the five broadcast network universe. CW33's 9 p.m. local newscast then registered "hashmarks" (no measurable audience) in this demographic. For that matter, so did TXA21's 7 to 9 p.m. local newscasts.

In Thursday's other local news derby results, WFAA8 also topped the three-way 10 p.m. race among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 and NBC5 continued their pitched battle for first place in the 6 a.m. hour. They tied in total viewers while the Peacock won by a sliver in the 25-to-54 demographic. WFAA8 and CBS11 lagged well back in third and fourth place, particularly among 25-to-54-year-olds.

WFAA8 won at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 again retorted with a sweep of the 25-to-54 ratings at those hours.