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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (holiday roundup, Dec. 21-26)

The Cowboys' home field playoff clincher against Carolina managed respectably big numbers Saturday night despite airing in the heart of the Christmas shopping/partying season.

A clear majority of D-FW homes -- 555,926 -- chose MY27's simulcast of the NFL Network's coverage. Add another 224,075 tuned to the league's official cable channel and ring up 780,001 total homes. That gives Cowboys-Panthers the No. 12 spot on the season's 15-game list, ranking a bit behind the Dec. 9th miracle win in Detroit (799,080 homes).

On Sunday afternoon, 353,162 homes savored the Bears' trampling of the Packers on Fox, ending Green Bay's hopes of freezing out Dallas in a Lambeau Field NFC championship game. The late afternoon CBS game between the still unbeaten Patriots and hapless Miami drew 284,965 homes while NBC's Sunday Night Football matchup -- Washington-Minnesota -- ran a hair behind with 282,530 homes.

Sunday's conclusion of ABC's big money game show Duel had just 85,246 homes in its corner. For the record, nurse Ashlee Register claimed a winner-takes-all $1.795 million jackpot.

NBC's Christmas Eve reprise of It's A Wonderful Life had elf-size ratings. Its 75,504 homes put it third behind a quintet of CBS repeats and ABC's telecast of the feature film Madagascar.

Local newscast ratings were of little note, with most stations "throwing out" all of their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day efforts. In other words, they aren't officially counted by Nielsen.

On the day after Christmas, NBC5 won at 10 p.m. in both total homes and with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again had twin wins at 6 a.m. while also easily whipping the three network morning shows from 7 to 9 a.m.

Belo8 ran first in both ratings measurements at 6 p.m. NBC5 had a win in total homes at 5 p.m. and tied Belo8 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.