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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., April 1-3) -- Rangers vs. NCAA hoops

A swing, a miss and an opening day win. Photo: Ed Bark

And the crowds cried out for more.

A heaven-sent big sports weekend featured the Texas Rangers' three-game sweep of the Red Sox and NCAA Final Four hoops action in both the men's and women's tournaments. Let's check out D-FW's Nielsen scorecards.

Friday afternoon's season opener, shown on Fox Sports Southwest, started slowly with 90,034 viewers for the 3:10 p.m. first pitch. But a peak audience of 311,657 had the Rangers-Red Sox in view between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m. Overall, the game averaged 221,622 viewers. And a Friday night replay on TXA21 drew 76,183 viewers.

Saturday night's Rangers game, also on FSS, stretched all the way to 10:26 p.m. It had 186,994 viewers, with a peak crowd of 263,177 between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

The Sunday afternoon closer on FSS pulled in 214,697 viewers, peaking at 283,954 between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m.

Fans also got a chance to see, hear and sometimes endure FSS veteran John Rhadigan as the team's new play-by-play guy. He's never done this before, and it showed. Particularly when Rhadigan capped Friday's opening day win by exclaiming that the Rangers and closer Neftali Feliz had combined to "win a victory!"

Rhadigan quickly added "There ya go, boys!" -- which apparently is going to be his tagline whenever the Rangers win. He also used it on Saturday and Sunday. Predecessor Josh Lewin, dumped by the Rangers after nine seasons, used the more economical "Ball game!" as his victory cry.

Rhadigan is talented, though, and obviously deserves a fair chance to work out his kinks and find the strike zone more consistently. So we'll see how he's doing a month or so from now, in tandem with holdover analyst Tom Grieve.

Saturday also brought the NCAA men's Final Four on CBS, beginning with Butler's win over VCU. That game averaged 221,622 viewers during early evening hours before Connecticut's victory over Kentucky kicked up a bit to 235,474 viewers.

Sunday night's women's Final Four on ESPN was spiked by two upsets -- A&M's comeback one-point win over Stanford and Notre Dame's even bigger shocker in beating almighty UConn.

Both games deserved bigger audiences than the 110,811 viewers for A&M/Stanford and the 83,108 for Notre Dame/UConn. But the games were competing against CBS' big three-hour yee-hah -- the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony. It roped in a dominating 408,616 viewers, far more than either the Rangers or hoops could muster.

Left for dead Sunday night was a hastily inserted new episode of ABC's Body of Proof, which had gotten off to a good start Tuesday night in the hour after Dancing with the Stars. The Dana Delany whodunit, in which she plays an acidic medical examiner, had 304,731 viewers on Tuesday but plummeted to 131,588 at 9 p.m. Sunday. That put it in fourth place at that hour in both total viewers and with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

On Friday, CBS launched the "comedic drama" Chaos, which was its least-watched series of the night but still ranked first at 7 p.m. with 152,365 total viewers. Chaos fell to third place with 18-to-49-year-olds, beating only ABC's competing Shark Tank.

Friday's local news derby competitions were paced by NBC5, which won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. The Peacock also swept the 5 p.m. Nielsens and tied Fox4 for first place at 6 a.m. in total viewers.

Fox4 called the 6 a.m. tune among 25-to-54-year-olds while CBS11 had twin wins at 6 p.m. WFAA8 had no wins for the third straight weekday.