‘Orleans’ bow elevates CBS

CBS’ two-hour premiere of “Orleans,” a racy drama starring Larry Hagman, posted a 10.5 rating and 17 share in the 9-11 p.m. block Wednesday, while NBC also had success with its midseason comedy “Chicago Sons,” according to Nielsen.

The performance of “Orleans” helped drive CBS to a second-place finish for the night with a 10.1/16. ABC finished first for the night with an 11.8/19 and NBC was third with a 8.8/14. Fox posted a 7.6/12 and the WB had a 3.4/5.

“Orleans’ ” 10.5/17 was above the web’s movie average of 9.1/15 in that slot and marked the first time CBS had beaten NBC’s 10-11 p.m. drama “Law & Order” in households in over two years.

NBC was encouraged by the premiere of its midseason comedy “Chicago Sons,” which posted a 9.8/15 in the 8:30 slot. NBC had been averaging a 7.7/12 in that time period. “Chicago Sons” also built on its “Wings” lead-in in every demographic. “Law & Order,” however, posted a 9.3/15, its lowest rating and share of the season. It did win in the 18-49 and 25-54 race.

ABC, meanwhile, saw “Ellen” earn its highest ratings this season in the 9:30-10 p.m. slot with a 11.6/18. The 9 p.m. sophomore sensation “Drew Carey” won its slot in adults 18-49 and 25-54 with a 12.0/18, and the newsmagazine “PrimeTime Live” posted a 14.4/24, its season best.

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