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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 2-4) -- just shy of 2 million viewers for Cowboys' comeback playoff win

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The largest D-FW TV crowd of the season turned out for the Dallas Cowboys’ spine-tingling 24-20 comeback win over the Detroit Lions Sunday. But the magic 2 million viewers mark will have to wait for next Sunday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

Airing from 3:42 to 6:47 p.m. on Fox, Cowboys-Lions averaged 1,945,746 viewers with a peak audience of 2,224,706 viewers for the 6:30 to 6:45 p.m. segment. That easily eclipsed the regular season high of 1,666,786 viewers for the Cowboys’ pivotal Dec. 14th win at Philadelphia on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-Lions averaged 842,065 viewers for the full game. That also topped the previous high of 791,604 viewers for the Dec. 14th Cowboys-Eagles game.

Sunday’s warmup act, the Colts’ win over the Bengals on CBS, averaged 697,400 total viewers. The Dallas Mavericks, who had an early noon start Sunday in Cleveland, routed the Cavaliers to the tune of just 41,844 viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. That at least outdrew ESPN’s GoDaddy Bowl, the last one before the Jan. 12th college football championship game in Jerry’s Palace. The after-dark Toledo-Arkansas State matchup had 34,870 viewers Sunday.

On the broadcast networks Sunday night, ABC’s 7 p.m. premiere of the musical comedy Galavant ran fourth in total viewers with 118,558 while also trailing CBS, NBC and Fox among 18-to-49-year-olds.

NBC’s two-hour 8 to 10 p.m. season premiere of The Celebrity Apprentice drew a decent-sized 216,194 total viewers to run third in its first half-hour hour, first from 8:30 to 9 p.m. and second from 9 to 10 p.m. But Celebrity Apprentice beat all opposition in the 18-to-49-year-olds except for Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of Family Guy.

Over on PBS, the 8 p.m. Season 5 premiere of Downton Abbey drew 209,220 total viewers and 66,230 in the key 18-to-49 measurement. Those are pretty much blockbuster numbers for PBS, particularly among younger viewers.

Saturday’s two NFL wild card games were led by the Ravens’ prime-time win over the Steelers on the Peacock’s Sunday Night Football. It averaged 704,374 viewers in outscoring ESPN’s earlier Panthers-Cardinals game (530,024 viewers).

On Friday, CBS gleefully aired new episodes of its regular prime-time lineup while its broadcast network rivals all opted for reruns. Not surprisingly, CBS dominated, with Blue Bloods the top draw (271,986 viewers).

The network’s only slip-up was among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Blue Bloods falling to fourth in the 9 p.m. hour while Fox4’s competing local newscast and ABC’s 20/20 tied for the lead.

In Friday’s local news derby results, the four major combatants all took post-New Year’s Day holiday knees, meaning that none of their ratings will officially count.

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