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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 12) -- see Rick Perry "dance"

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Dressed in a rhinestone cowboy get-up, former Texas governor and two-time failed presidential candidate Rick Perry trotted out his version of the cha cha cha late in Monday night’s 23rd edition launch of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

The judges weren’t impressed, ranking Perry and pro partner Emma Slater at the bottom of 13 pairs. But the D-FW Nielsen ratings kicked their heels, at least in total viewers. DWTS drew a crowd of 311,626 to win the 7 to 9 p.m. slot among the Big Four broadcast networks. That two-hour portion of ESPN’s Monday Night Football (Steelers vs. Redskins) fared better with 347,038 viewers.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, DWTS ran second in the broadcast network arena behind NBC’s competing two-hour American Ninja Warrior. The score was 98,446 viewers to 76,217. But Monday Night Football trounced both “reality competition” shows in this key demographic with 209,596 viewers.

Earlier Monday, the 2 p.m. premiere of Fox4’s syndicated Harry (starring Harry Connick, Jr.) drew 42,494 total viewers to rank third in its time slot behind NBC5’s Steve Harvey (70,824) and CBS11’s double dose of Hot Bench (49,577). But in the 18-to-49 age range, Harry narrowly beat Harvey for the gold.

TEGNA8’s 3 p.m. debut of T.D. Jakes managed just 21,247 total viewers in trailing well behind time slot competition from CBS’ Dr. Phil (77,906), NBC5’s Ellen (70,824) and Fox4’s TMZ Live! (49,577). T.D. Jakes barely registered with 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 1,905 compared to time slot leader TMZ’s 25,406.

TEGNA8’s 4 p.m. local newscast again paid the price of a lousy lead-in, running fourth in both ratings measurements.

Here are the local news derby results in the four major four-way competitions.

NBC5 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but the Peacock won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. battles and NBC5 did likewise at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 age range,.

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