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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., May 31-June 2) -- big score for Game of Thrones

This doesn’t sound like much of a number. But it’s pretty huge by HBO’s standards.

Sunday night’s penultimate Season 3 episode of Game of Thrones, which ended shockingly, drew 158,337 D-FW viewers in the 8 to 9 p.m. slot. And 98,871 of them were advertiser-prized 18-to-to-year-olds.

That’s a thunderous number for a premium pay network whose subscribers add up to 25-to-30 percent of all U.S. TV homes. And it was enough for GOT to win its time slot in competition with prime-time programming on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox (all of which have basically 100 percent penetration).

Only CBS’ 60 Minutes (192,758 total viewers) and Sunday afternoon’s Texas Rangers-Kansas City Royals game on Fox Sports Southwest (185,873 viewers) drew bigger overall crowds than GOT. And the Rangers had the benefit of ratings magnet Yu Darvish on the mound. GOT easily topped all Sunday programming in the 18-to-49 demographic.

AMC’s two-hour Season 3 premiere of The Killing drew 34,421 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, with 12,758 of them in the 18-to-49 range. A new 9 p.m. episode of AMC’s Mad Men then bumped up a bit to 41,305 and 22,326 viewers respectively. So game, set match go resoundingly to Game of Thrones among Sunday’s biggest cable entertainment attractions.

Saturday afternoon’s Rangers-Royals game averaged 172,105 total viewers on FSS. The most-watched Rangers weekend game was Friday’s on TXA21, which drew 240,947 viewers to lead all prime-time programming. The next most-watched attraction, NBC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of Dateline, had 165,221 viewers. The Rangers also had more 18-to-49-year-old viewers than anything else in prime-time, with Dateline again the runner-up.

On the extreme downside, Fox’s opening 8 p.m. repeat of The Following, which the network plans to run from start to finish this summer, had a sub-piddling 13,768 total viewers and “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) in the 18-to-49 measurement. So those plans likely will change.

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers:

CBS11 topped the 10 p.m. competition in total viewers, but WFAA8 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. and added a 5 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. WFAA8 led in total viewers at 6 p.m.


CBS11 early morning co-anchor Adrienne Bankert will co-anchor CBS’ The Talk on Wednesday, June 5th. It airs at 1 p.m. in D-FW. Karen Borta, who co-anchors CBS11’s 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, was a guest host on The Talk in June 2011.

***Former CBS11 reporter Jay Gormley’s short film, Odds Or Evens, is now available on YouTube. It’s definitely worth a look, and here’s a link. Gormley now is director of communications for the Dallas region of Time Warner Cable.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net