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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon, Oct. 3) -- Rangers build slowly to big number, bigger win

Again exiled to a weekday late afternoon start, the Texas Rangers' stirring Game 3 win over Tampa Bay Monday began almost invisibly on TBS before building to a smash hit.

Still, the game fell shy of Saturday's crowd, in large part no doubt because Game 2 began at 6 p.m. on a more accessible weekend night.

Game 3, which ran from 4 until 7:59 p.m., had just 108,386 D-FW viewers for its first 15-minute increment. But by the closing quarter hour, which ended with a 4-3 win on a double play grounder, the audience had grand-slammed its way to 677,410 viewers. Overall it averaged 406,446 viewers, shy of Saturday's 433,542 on TNT.

The Rangers handily beat NFL football, though, with Monday night's lackluster Colts-Buccaneers matchup drawing just 182,901 viewers on ESPN. Game 3 also dominated the 7 to 8 p.m. prime-time hour, with 636,765 viewers. Runner-up Terra Nova on Fox had 277,738 viewers.

Fox's season premiere of House followed at 8 p.m. with a nice-sized 298,060 viewers. But that still fell short of CBS' competing winning combo of Two and a Half Men (440,317 viewers) and Mike & Molly (311,609).

ABC's Castle and CBS' Hawaii Five-0 tied for the 9 p.m. lead with 284,512 viewers apiece. The third episode of NBC's punchless The Playboy Club finished a distant fourth in the broadcast network universe with a piddling 67,741 viewers.

ABC's flagging Dancing with the Stars ran an overall third in total viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. while taking an even bigger drubbing with advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. It was so bad that even The CW's new Hart of Dixie came fairly close to beating Dancing's second hour while NBC's ratings-starved The Sing-Off also made gains in this key demographic.

CBS' over-praised 2 Broke Girls showed serious signs of tune-out at 7:30 p.m., digging a ratings valley in both audience measurements between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. It easily was CBS' least-watched show of the night.

And now for the local news derby results.

CBS11 narrowly topped the 10 p.m. field in total viewers, holding off WFAA8 after both stations were on an equal playing field in terms of network audience lead-ins. WFAA8 in turn edged CBS11 for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 otherwise had a big day, sweeping the 6 a.m ratings while also winning at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic. In total viewers, Fox4 tied NBC5 for first place at 5 p.m. and shared the 6 p.m. gold in that measurement with CBS11.

Also of note: WFAA8 is starting to show some signs of life at 6 a.m. The ABC station tied NBC5 for second in total viewers and beat the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.