6 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Law & Order: Trial by Jury, the latest incarnation of NBC's enduring cops-and-courts drama powerhouse, got off to a solid if not spectacular start for NBC with a sneak peek debut on Thursday in ER's 10 p.m. time slot, followed on Friday by its regular Friday 10 p.m. time-slot debut. That hour already has been competitive this season between two new dramas, NBC's Medical Investigation, which has shown signs of life since its fall debut, and CBS' Numbers, a midseason entry that opened strongly in January, though its numbers since have cooled considerably. On Friday, Law & Order: Trial by Jury opened to 14.4 million viewers and a 4.1 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. That marked NBC's highest demo numbers in the time slot in 16 months (excluding last summer's Olympics coverage), and it grew from its lead-in, a special 9 p.m. repeat of Law & Order: SVU (11.3 million, 3.2/10). Law & Order: Trial by Jury also generated strong sampling in its Thursday showcase slot (17.3 million, 6.2/17).

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