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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 11) -- three quarters of a million strong for Cowboys pre-season opener

The Dallas Cowboys' last-second home win against Denver in Thursday's pre-season opener gave CBS11 an easy path to prime-time dominance.

Running from 7:37 to 10:36 p.m., the game averaged 789,370 D-FW viewers, with 352,094 in the coveted 18-to-49 age range. That was a drop-off, however, from last year's Hall of Fame game opener on NBC, which had the advantage of being nationally televised on a weekend night. In D-FW, the Cowboys' win over Cincinnati averaged 875,433 total viewers, with 404,438 within the advertiser-craved 18-to-49 motherlode.

Opposite Cowboys-Broncos, ABC's new episode of Rookie Blue fared the best with 152,365 total viewers. Fox's two-hour season finale of So You Think You Can Dance (won by 19-year-old Melanie Moore of Marietta, GA), ended up a ratings wallflower locally with just 131,588 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m.

CBS programming, exiled to sister station TXA21, was topped by 8 p.m.'s Big Brother episode, which managed 96,960 viewers opposite the Cowboys.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 won a downsized three-way competition at 10 p.m. with 159,291 viewers. But NBC5 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. CBS11's delayed late news had 282,250 total viewers.

The 6 a.m. spoils were split between NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Fox4 otherwise rolled in the early evening, running the table at 5 p.m., winning at 6 p.m. in total viewers and tying WFAA8 for first at the later hour with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11's Countdown to Kickoff special, which ran from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., dominated all programming in that hour with 277,028 total viewers.