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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 30) -- Monday Night Football vs nighty night for Rangers

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Baseball town -- for a night. The Texas Rangers’ last gasp on TBS had enough punch to outdraw the New Orleans Saints’ rout of the Dolphins on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Tampa Bay’s 5-2 win over the North Texas Nine in a do-or-die Game 163 of the regular season averaged 461,585 D-FW viewers while MNF pulled in 312,457. Rangers-Rays outdrew Saints-Dolphins in every quarter hour they went against each other. Texas’ season ended at 10:16 p.m. while the Saints continued to maul the Dolphins until 10:49 p.m. Baseball also started a half-hour earlier than football.

It was a closer score among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. Baseball averaged 227,969 viewers in this key demographic and football had 172,605. But Rangers-Rays again won every quarter-hour of the head-to-head competition with Saints-Dolphins.

It also was an eventful night on the Big Four broadcast networks, with NBC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of The Voice ranking as the biggest draw with 362,166 total viewers. That comfortably beat ABC’s competing two-hour Dancing with the Stars (269,849 viewers).

Fox’s 7 to 9 p.m. lineup of Bones (134,925 viewers) and the third episode of Sleepy Hollow (205,938) took the bronze opposite CBS’ sagging lineup of sitcoms. How I Met My Mother led off with 134,925 viewers (running a bit behind the first half-hour of Bones) before the premiere of We Are Men dipped to 113,621 viewers. 2 Broke Girls pulled in 156,229 viewers and the second episode of Mom had 170,431.

The Voice crushed all comers in the 18-to-49 competition. How I Met Your Mother beat the first half-hour of Bones to place third from 7 to 7:30 p.m. The orders of finish otherwise remained the same, with the second hour of Dancing with the Stars having just enough oomph to nip Sleepy Hollow for the silver.

NBC made it a sweep for the night with 284,052 total viewers for its 9 p.m. second episode of The Blacklist. ABC’s Castle placed a solid second with 255,647 viewers while CBS’ Hostages fell to 149,127 viewers. Blacklist also edged Castle for the 18-to-49 crown, with Hostages tying Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast. Blacklist benefited in both cases from a big lead-in advantage from the last 15 minutes of The Voice.

In Monday’s local news derby results, NBC5 held on at 10 p.m. to win narrowly in both total viewers (over WFAA8) and 25-to-54-year-olds (over Fox4), the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 rolled to another pair of dominant wins at 6 a.m. and also swept the 5 p.m. competitions. NBC5 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m. and Fox4 was alone atop the 25-to-54 heap.

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