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NBC Lays Down the Law & Order

NBC won the prime-time Nielsen Media Research ratings race Tuesday night in the key 18-49 demo on the strength of Law & Order's dominant performance from 10 p.m.-11 p.m. (5.5, the night's top show) and a time-period-winning outing from Scrubs at 9:30 p.m. NBC averaged a 3.9/10 in 18-49 for the night.

ABC was a strong second, with a 3.7 rating and tying NBC with a 10 share average. ABC's top performer was According To Jim with a 4.7, up a half a rating point over last week's premiere, which had to go up against CBS' finale of Amazing Race. This week, Jim clobbered the competition, with second place in the time period going to NBC's Father Of the Pride with a 3.5/11.

ABC also got solid work from Rodney at 9:30, scoring a 3.9/10 for a second-place finish behind Scrubs.

Fox took third on the strength of time period winner Trading Spouses, which averaged a 3.5/10, building strongly from its first half hour, 3.1/9, to a 3.9/10 in its second.

CBS managed a fourth-place finish in the demo, with a 2.7/7 for older-skewing Navy NCIS,Clubhouse and Judging Amy. Navy NCIS had the night's greatest disparity between the total-viewers rating, which it dominated (9.1 to demo winner Trading Spouses' 5.3) and 18-49's (2.9 for NCIS, 3.1 for Spouses).

The WB had a competitive 2.4/6 18-49 average for the night on the strength of Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill.

UPN brought up the rear with a 1.1/3 for All Of Us, Eve, and Veronica Mars.

CBS won the household race with an 8.0/13 average; followed by ABC and NBC, tied at a 6.1/10; Fox with a 4.2/7; The WB with a  3.8/6, and UPN at a 1.9/3.