‘Law & Order’ continues to boost ratings | Buckler Airtime

Last week, “Law & Order” made a comeback. And viewers too.

A large crowd wanted to see the first “Law & Order” in over 10 years that wasn’t a rehearsal and the show delivered. The ratings weren’t gargantuan – the series didn’t even earn its period – but it was better than other returning series such as the return of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

NBC had to be convinced that “Law & Order” still had a bounce in its stride. It led Thursday’s “Law & Order” block with an audience of 5.79 million viewers. Only two shows had larger audiences and they both aired on CBS. “Young Sheldon” led the way with 6.9 million viewers and “Ghosts” was next with 5.85 million. Then came the original “L&O”.

Only two shows did better with viewers aged 18 to 49, the money demographic. They were both on ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Station 19”, which aired a special crossover episode.

“Law & Order” was the most popular of NBC’s “Law & Order” night. “Special Victims Unit” drew 5.15 million viewers, and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” was the lowest of the bunch at 3.49 million.

Most of the shows airing Thursday enjoyed ratings boosts — that’s because the Winter Olympics were over and the networks started airing new episodes again. In the case of “Law & Order,” viewers waited 12 years for a first-run episode. It proves that “Law & Order” viewers aren’t just loyal, they’re also very patient.

Cable ratings, predictably, were dominated by news programs after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Thursday’s top 18 shows were news programs, led by Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” which drew 5 million viewers. Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show was second with 4.7 million and Sean Hannity made Fox’s Top 3 with 4.3 million. Of Thursday’s top 17 shows, 11 of those programs aired on Fox and six on CNN. MSNBC’s top news show Thursday was hosted by Rachel Maddow and finished 38th with 2.5 million viewers.

The top non-news or sports show in Thursday’s cable ratings was “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” which landed in 32nd place.

However, the night did not belong to the people of New Jersey. It was dominated by the crucial problems of the world.

Local TV news is at its best when it takes a national story and finds local threads in it. This has been the case for the past four nights covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The main story for Monday’s coverage was on WVIT-TV30 focusing on two sisters – one living in Southington and the other still living in Ukraine. Presenter Heidi Voigt interviewed Evgenya Sherenet from Ukraine and her sister Alexandra Anderson from Southington. It’s another example of how a story set over 4,000 miles away can still hit home.

• Marc Robbins of WFSB-TV3 reported on a story that hit home — the Heslin house in Marlborough.

Emma Heslin of RHAM won the 99-pound state championship in the girls’ invitational event while her brother, Jackson Heslin of Xavier, won the 120-pound championship. The Heslins were the first brother-sister combination to win open championships on the same day.

Apparently, they will have to change address to become the house of champions.

Since they’re not playing baseball these days due to a lockout, all you can do is talk about it.

And NBC talks to Major League Baseball about its midweek set that was previously on ESPN.

The network wants to put most games on Peacock, giving the streaming service more sports programming.

However, there is a problem. Most people still watch their local regional sports channels, such as NESN, YES, and SNY, for their midweek baseball.

If NBC decides to air a Red Sox, Yankees, or Mets game, that show will be blocked in the domestic market.

And that means we would never see them.

There are baseball fans who didn’t even know ESPN was hosting midweek games — that’s how rarely they watch them.

Of course, that’s a pointless point if the owners and baseball players can’t agree to end the lockout and start the season.

Viewers, as usual, are stuck in the middle. If the Yankees, Red Sox, or Mets aren’t playing on their respective sports channels, subscribers are unlikely to get any money back.

Viewers would pay for something they wouldn’t get.

Follow Matt Buckler for more TV, radio and sports coverage on JI’s Twitter @journalinquirerand see his articles on the Journal Inquirer Facebook page.

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