For many years, the star of NBC Wednesday was the 20-year procedural Law and Order, which was still quite potent at the beginning of the A18-49+ era. But it really fell hard in NBC's first couple post-Friends years (perhaps owing largely to CBS' competing newbie CSI: NY). That's left a void on Wednesday that NBC's never really been able to fill, even a decade later.
|2001-02||Ed||The West Wing||Law and Order||139|
|2002-03||Ed||The West Wing||Law and Order||113|
|2003-04||Ed||The West Wing||Law and Order||105|
|2004-05||Hawaii||The West Wing||Law and Order||86|
|2005-06||E-Ring||The Apprentice: Martha Stewart||Law and Order||71|
|2006-07||30 Rock||20 Good Years||The Biggest Loser Fall||Medium||74|
|2007-08||Deal or No Deal||Bionic Woman||Life||88|
|2008-09||Knight Rider||Life||Law and Order||63|
|2009-10||Mercy||Law and Order: SVU||The Jay Leno Show||70|
|2010-11||Undercovers||Law and Order: SVU||Law and Order: Los Angeles||81|
|2011-12||Up All Night||Free Agents||Harry's Law||Law and Order: SVU||69|
|2012-13||Animal Practice||Guys with Kids||Law and Order: SVU||Chicago Fire||77|
|2013-14||Revolution||Law and Order: SVU||Ironside||74|
|2014-15||The Mysteries of Laura||Law and Order: SVU||Chicago PD||88|
2014-15 Update: Thanks to the Empire breakthrough on Fox, NBC stayed in the big four cellar on Wednesday yet again, where they've now been for more than a decade! However, this was actually one of NBC's better efforts on the night over that decade, largely thanks to Chicago PD patching up the 10:00 hour. The Mysteries of Laura was flailing late in the season, but its Plus for the full season nearly matched last year's Revolution, and SVU improbably inched up again. After a pity renewal for Laura, NBC is standing pat here, which means there's no real shot to crawl out of fourth.
Notable midseason replacements:
- After a year on Friday in 2006-07, Law and Order was held for midseason in 2007-08 and made a somewhat triumphant return to its old Wednesday home during the writers' strike, averaging a 96. (Airing against mostly CSI: NY repeats helped.)
- Chicago PD (88) debuted in January 2014.
In 2008-09, the network originally had sophomore Lipstick Jungle on the night (it averaged a 66 in its Wednesday eps, most of which aired after America's Got Talent or Deal or No Deal), but it swapped over to Friday in favor of the above crime drama duo by November.