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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., April 25-27)

Sunday night's wake before Tuesday's scheduled burial drew the weekend's biggest TV audience.

You know what we're talking about. The Dallas Mavericks' lopsided home loss to New Orleans, which all but sealed their playoff crypt, amassed 207,026 D-FW homes on TXA21 and added another 102,295 for the TNT presentation.

That easily outpointed a new episode of ABC's Desperate Housewives, which had 253,302 homes to rank as the No.2 draw in the Fri.-Sun. Nielsens.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars' second consecutive Stanley Cup playoff win against San Jose managed 63,326 homes on MY27. Those numbers should enjoy a nice growth spurt in the coming weeks as the Stars make what now appears to be a very serious run for the Cup while the Mavs wilt like daffodils in the Mojave.

Also Sunday, the final round of the Byron Nelson golf tournament holed out with just 58,454 homes on CBS. ABC's competing Spurs-Suns NBA playoff game drew 158,314 homes.

Friday's Mavs-Stars doubleheader looked like this:

The Mavs' win over New Orleans had 136,394 D-FW homes on TXA21 and 85,246 on ESPN. The poor Stars, stuck in virtual Siberia on the VS cable network, drew 29,227 homes. But hey, the pucksters beat the Texas Rangers-Minnesota game on Fox Sports Southwest (24,356 homes).

Now on to the local news derby, where the early morning race remains an eye-opener thanks to NBC5's continued surprising performance.

The Peacock tied WFAA8 in total homes at 6 a.m. Friday and nipped the ABC station among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Fox4 ran a close third in both measurements. And the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its Good Day again swept the competing network morning shows.

The May "sweeps," which actually began on April 24th, have just two weekdays under their belt. But NBC5 is looking like a player in the early mornings, where it's tied for first with WFAA8 in total homes and has a paper-thin edge with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The Peacock also made some noise in the other local news competitions, winning among 25-to-54-year-olds at 10 p.m. and also taking first place in that key demo at 5 p.m.

WFAA8 had a comfortable win in total homes at 10 p.m. and ran the table at 6 p.m. It also had the gold in the 5 p.m. total homes competition.