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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun, Oct. 2-4) -- Rocky Mountain high/low for Cowboys

Bucked by the Broncos, the Cowboys nonetheless lit Fox's fire Sunday with another million-plus audience in D-FW.

This time 1,441,531 viewers were in attendance, with a high of 1,667,393 watching the spine-tingling closing minutes. That ranked Cowboys-Broncos second among this season's four regular season games, trailing only the not-so-grand opening of Jerry's Palace on NBC's Sunday Night Football (an overall average of 1,700,608 viewers).

Of the 1,441,531 who watched Sunday, nearly half -- 719,546 -- were advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Cowboys' warmup act, Giants-Chiefs on Fox, averaged 352,079 total viewers. That outdrew the competing Patriots-Ravens game on CBS, which had 298,935 viewers. NBC's prime-time Steelers-Chargers faceoff averaged 325,507 viewers.

Airing opposite the Cowboys, the Texas Rangers' last regular season game at Seattle drew a test pattern-sized 13,286 viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. All in all, though, it was quite a year for the hometown nine.

CBS' Sunday night premiere of the new medical drama Three Rivers sloshed into view with just 152,789 viewers to finish fourth in the 8 p.m. hour.

Saturday's most-watched attraction, Oklahoma's prime-time loss to Miami on ABC, averaged 332,150 viewers.

Over on ESPN Saturday, the mighty Wisconsin Badgers' win over Minnesota drew 39,858 D-FW viewers during late morning/early afternoon hours. Wisconsin retained the giant Paul Bunyan ax, symbol of supremacy in college football's oldest rivalry, by edging the Gophers on their spanking new home field. Uncle Barky's alma mater is now 5-0, including a win over vaunted superpower Wofford before Big Ten play commenced in late September. Next up: powerful but beatable Ohio State on the road. Will the Badgers rise up and be Johnsonville brats or wind up as wieners? All of North Texas is hanging on the answer.

Meanwhile, in Friday's local news derby festivities, CBS11 ran first in total viewers at 10 p.m. by edging WFAA8. But NBC5 had the win among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. In that measurement, CBS11 fell from first to fourth.

The Peacock also took the gold at 6 a.m. in total viewers, but lost by a sliver (three-hundredths of a rating point) to Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds. Basically that amounts to a tie.

WFAA8 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers and shared first place with Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

At 5 p.m., NBC5 won in total viewers and WFAA8 prevailed among 25-to-54-year-olds.