NBC’s Law & Order placed third in the 10 p.m. slot Wednesday, losing out to CSI: NY on CBS and ABC’s Wife Swap with the key 18-49 sales demo.
It’s the NBC cop drama's sixth consecutive loss to the CBS upstart among 18-49s, although the gap has narrowed over the past two weeks. In total audience, the two shows are now neck-and-neck.
This week, CSI won by 234,000 viewers. The previous week, L&O had a 255,000 advantage. But households are generally only for show. The dough goes to the demos.
Law & Order is clearly in trouble with 18-49s. After being the network's top pick in its time slot for five consecutive seasons, the show has failed to win its period once this season. On Wednesday, CSI: NY had a 6.1 rating/16 share. Wife Swap placed second at 4.8/12. A “pulled from the headlines” L&O episode about a gay governor was close behind at 4.7/12.