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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 3-5)

The Cowboys' near-squandering of an early 17-0 lead against winless Cincinnati kept audiences from defecting elsewhere Sunday.

End result: Another tidal wave in the D-FW Nielsens, with CBS11 the happy benefactor. Kicking off at 3:15 p.m. and ending at 6:21 p.m., Cowboys-Bengals averaged 806,184 homes, with a peak of 918,221 between 6 and 6:15 p.m.

The previous Sunday's stunning home loss to the Redskins not surprisingly logged a higher average of 879,252 homes, topping out with 962,062 in the closing 15 minutes.

This season's record-holder is still Sept. 15th's already legendary Monday Night Football Cowboys-Eagles shootout, which averaged a combined 930,399 D-FW homes on TXA21 and ESPN. The following week's Dallas-Green Bay game barely fell short of that haul, tipping the Nielsen scales at 927,964 total homes in a prime-time showcase on NBC.

No other Sunday, Oct. 5th NFL game drew even one-third of the overall Cowboys-Bengals audience. NBC's Steelers-Jaguars matchup came closest, averaging 238,689 D-FW homes.

Saturday's most-watched program, NBC5's 10 p.m. local newscast, drew 197,284 homes. NBC's Saturday Night Live, which immediately followed, held strong with an average of 158,314 homes.

Friday's local news derby went like this:

WFAA8 won in total homes at 10 p.m., and tied for first with Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 enjoyed Eggs Benedict at 6 a.m., winning in total homes and sharing the first-place spoils with WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demo.

Fox4 had a fun time at 5 p.m. with comfortable twin wins.

WFAA8 again cruised in the 6 p.m. newscast competitions.