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‘Order’ smart in ‘ER’ slot

NBC’s “Law & Order” posted its highest rating in over three years last Thursday as the Dick Wolf drama kicked off a stint in the “ER” timeslot of 10-11 p.m.

“Law & Order,” which is running a three-part plot in the new slot, averaged a 14.4 rating and 25 share, according to Nielsen. That is much higher than its 10.7/18 average in its usual slot of 10-11 p.m. Wednesday. The numbers were still off from “ER’s” average of 21.0/35. NBC won the night in adults 18-49.

For the night, NBC averaged a 17.3 rating and 28 share. ABC finished second with a 8.4/14, followed by CBS’ 7.4/12 and Fox’s 5.9/9.

NBC may also be pleased with the perf of its freshman sitcom “Suddenly Susan” in the 8:30-9 p.m. slot. It averaged a 17.7/28 and held on to 95% of its “Friends” (18.7/30) lead-in.

ABC’s midseason “Vital Signs” posted a 7.5/12, its highest rating and share in three telecasts.

CBS’ coverage of the NCAA basketball tourney posted a 7.4/13 and gave the net its best performance among men 18-49 and 25-54 this season. Compared to a year ago, household ratings are up 6% and the web doubled its performance in male demos.

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