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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 28-30) -- Rangers, Cowboys both get the bird

First it was the Cardinals. Then the Eagles. Both angry birds took big poops on our sports psyches. One of the worst pro sports weekends in D-FW history -- if not the worst -- thudded to an end Sunday night with Philadelphia's manhandling of the Dallas Cowed Boys.

Friday of course brought an end to a World Series that the Texas Rangers had in hand and then blew with that Game 6 giveaway. Misery loves company, though, and both debacles had plenty of it.

Fox's Game 7 of the Series, a 6-2 Cards win, ran from 7:06 to 10:22 p.m. and averaged 1,707,073 viewers. The peak crowd of 1,889,974 came between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m. Both levels were well short of Game 6, which set all-time Ranger highs with an average of 2,072,875 viewers and a peak audience of 2,499,643.

Still, Game 7 of Rangers-Cards easily outdrew NBC's Sunday Night Football presentation of a 34-7 Eagles rout of the Cowboys, who were never in the game. One of the team's biggest stinkers ever on a national prime-time stage averaged 1,158,371 viewers with a high of 1,469,980 between 7:45 to 8 p.m. A shrunken crowd of 839,988 stuck around for the closing minutes, capped by Al Michael's unanimous judgment that "it's all Philadelphia from start to finish. Total domination. A blowout."

Sunday's second most-watched pro pigskin encounter, the Steelers vs. the Patriots on CBS, drew 447,091 viewers. Fox's 7:30 p.m. premiere of its latest Sunday night cartoon entry, Allen Gregory, had 121,934 viewers after falling sharply from the 230,319 viewers it inherited from The Simpsons.

Opposite Game 7 of the World Series Friday, NBC chose to go ahead with its planned premiere of Grimm, which had been delayed a week to run closer to Halloween. The ratings were very grim 'n' scary. Just 40,645 viewers were on hand. The 7 p.m. season premiere of NBC's Chuck did only slightly better with 54,193 viewers.

In Friday's local news derby results, the 10 p.m. numbers again were flattened by competition from the World Series. WFAA8 won the three-way competition, but with just 101,612 viewers on the second night of the four-week November "sweeps" ratings competition. WFAA8 likewise was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 ran the table at both 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Its 6 p.m. 4 the Championship sports special also won its time slot. In the three-way battle of regular newscasts, CBS11 came up a winner in both Nielsen measurements.

PROGRAMMING NOTE -- TXA21's expanded one-hour The Fan Sports Show launches on Halloween night at 7 p.m. Gina Miller, the regular anchor, won't be back until late January from maternity leave. So the program will be helmed until then by "members of the CBS11/TXA21 sports team as well as possibly an occasional guest host," says director of communications Lori Conrad.

Also contributing is CBS radio's 105.3 FM "The Fan," whose on-air personalities will make regular appearances.