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November 06, 2008

NBC's crime block stumbles: 'Law & Order' hits low

Law__order Welcome back, "Law & Order," your food stamps are over there.

The most veteran of veteran crime procedurals was thrust Wednesday night into the fall's harsh broadcast climate in general and NBC's struggling midweek lineup in particular.

The 19th season premiere of "Order" was seen by 7.8 million viewers and received a 2.2 preliminary adults 18-49 rating -- down 42% from its debut last year and posting its lowest Wednesday number ever.

NBC's newly revamped Wednesday night -- recently announced as a crime block -- started rocky, with "Knight Rider" (5.1 million, 1.6) dropping sharply to a season low. That didn't help the time-period premiere of "Life" (5.8 million, 2.0) at 9 p.m. "Life" was up 33% from its extremely low Friday average, but still less than "Deal or No Deal" in the slot. That led into "Law & Order," which placed second in the hour. NBC ranked fourth for the night. 

Fox topped the evening in the adult demo with "Bones" (10.1 million, 3.2), back from a three-week hiatus, and a repeat.

CBS was second in the demo and first among total viewers. "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (6.6 million, 1.9) fell 20% "Gary Unmarried" (6.4 million, 2.1) was down 16%, respectively, from their previous original airings (last week was the Barack Obama ad at 8 p.m., you'll recall). CBS was hoping for "Unmarried" to get a bump after its season-high sampling in its Monday comedy block.

At 9 p.m., CBS' on-par "Criminal Minds" (14.3 million, 3.5) won the hour and was the evening's highest-rated show while a steady "CSI: NY" (11.7 million, 3.3) topped 10 p.m.

ABC was third with a special "Dancing With the Stars" (15.6 million, 3.2) instead of "Pushing Daisies" this week, which gave "Private Practice" (9.5 million, 3.2) and "Dirty Sexy Money" (6.4 million, 2.0) modest lifts.

The CW's "America's Next Top Model" (3.9 million, 2.0) was better than average, followed by "Stylista" (2 million, 1.0).

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2008







2.8/7 Dancing With the Stars
15.6 mil, 3.2/9
Private Practice
9,5 mil, 3.2/8
Dirty Sexy Money
6.2 mil, 2.0/5
2.9/8 The New Adventures
of Old
6.5 mil, 1.9/5
Gary Unmarried
6.4 mil, 2.1/6
Criminal Minds
14.2 mil, 3.5/9
11.7 mil, 3.3/9
1.9/5 Knight Rider
5.1 mil, 1.6/4
5.8 mil, 2.0/5
Law & Order
7.8 mil, 2.2/6
10.0 mil, 3.2/9
6.7 mil, 2.7/7
No programming
1.5/4 America's Next Top Model
3.9 mil, 2.0/6
2.0 mil, 1.0/2
No programming


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