'Law & Order' Return Posts Average Ratings

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

Published on .

While all eyes were on the return of the late-night hosts, let's take a moment to run down Wednesday night's prime-time figures.

Veteran crime drama "Law & Order" returned for its 18th season, with its premiere up only slightly from its 2006 opener.

The two-hour "Order" posted a 3.8 preliminary Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49—up 6% from its last round, when it aired on Friday nights. "Order" tied for second place in the time period with the return of ABC's "Supernanny."

Although NBC was third in the 18-49 demo, the combination of "Order" and a new "Deal or No Deal" (3.4) gave the network a win among total viewers.

Fox was first in the demo with the Fiesta Bowl, featuring Oklahoma vs. West Virginia (4.3), and a pre-game (3.3).

ABC was second, with the season premiere of "Wife Swap" (3.3) leading into two new hours of "Supernanny" (3.6 and 4.0), all roughly in line with last season.

CBS came in fourth with the premiere of "Power of 10" (1.7 and down 17% from its out-of-season debut in August), and repeats of "Criminal Minds" (2.1) and "CSI: NY" (1.8).

The CW had its ongoing dismal-performing reality show "Crowned" (0.8) and "Gossip Girl" (1.0).
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