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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Dec. 3) -- NBC plays nearly dead in prime-time on day of big sale

NBC Universal again showed Thursday why Comcast mainly bought it for its cable networks.

The once powerful but now anemic broadcast arm flexed another pimple in prime-time, running well behind in the D-FW total viewer Nielsens while showing scant signs of life among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.

In total viewers, The Jay Leno Show drew NBC's largest "crowd," with 115,367 viewers in the 9 p.m hour. That was less than half the audience for CBS' competing repeat of The Mentalist (251,093 viewers). Leno also trailed the second hour of ABC's new Private Practice episode and Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast.

The Peacock's 7 to 8 p.m. comedies -- new episodes of Community and Parks & Recreation -- likewise finished fourth in total viewers. First-run editions of The Office and 30 Rock perked up to third, edging a new episode of Fox's Fringe.

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, Leno finished fourth while Community and Parks & Recreation ran third (ahead of a new hour of ABC's sagging FlashForward). The Office inched up to second at 8 p.m. before 30 Rock slipped to third.

Presented with another meatless Leno burger lead-in, NBC5's 10 p.m. newscast ran fourth in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main target audience for news programming. WFAA8 won in both ratings measurements, although its margin over CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds was just four-one hundredths of a rating point (2,715 viewers).

NBC5 edged Fox4 at 6 a.m. in total viewers, but Fox4 punched back with a bit comfier margin in the 25-to-54 demographic.

WFAA8 swept the 6 p.m. competitions and also notched a 5 p.m. win in total viewers. The Peacock ran first in the earlier hour with 25-to-54-year-olds.

In the cable universe, NFL Network's lowly matchup between the Jets and Bills nonetheless averaged 128,940 total viewers. Not surprisingly, that's more than Leno could muster.