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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., April 20) -- punchless Mavs roll up big ratings anyway

Audiences tailed off as the butt-whipping continued deep into the night. But Game 2 of the Mavericks-Spurs playoff series was still a big ratings winner Monday night.

The Mavs' 105-84 road loss to San Antonio, squaring the series at 1-1, tipped off about 20 minutes past its appointed 8:30 p.m. start time and ran until 11:20 p.m. Calculations based on those actual start and stop times show the game averaging 245,791 D-FW viewers on TXA21, plus another 159,432 for the TNT presentation.

That's a TXA21/TNT total of 405,223 viewers, putting the Mavs-Spurs in an exact tie with Monday's 90-minute Dancing with the Stars performance show on ABC, which ran from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

On TXA21 alone, the game beat all competing prime-time programming between 8:50 and 10 p.m. Its closest competitor was ABC's new Castle crime series, which had 232,505 viewers from 9 to 10 p.m. opposite the game's 292,292 viewers.

WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast then broke though to win at that hour, drawing 312,221 viewers opposite TXA21's 10 to 10:30 portion of Mavs-Spurs (232,505 viewers). Had the game been competitive, it likely would have been no contest, with the Mavs towering over all four late night newscasts.

WFAA8 also ran first at 10 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. It had Monday's biggest haul in this key demographic (173,012 viewers), even outdrawing Dancing with the Stars (163,906 viewers in this age range).

In other local news derby results, Fox4 nipped NBC5 at 6 a.m. in total viewers, with the Peacock in turn edging Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 6 p.m. golds were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and NBC5 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

WFAA8 continued its recent resurgence at 5 p.m. by running the table. The improved performance so far coincides with a revamped format in which the station's anchors lately have been doing one or more live "newsmaker" interviews within the telecast. We'll have more on this later.