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TV Bulletin Board (Dec. 3)

Law & Order doubleplay: Vincent D'Onofrio, Sam Waterston.

NBC will be pulling Law & Order: Criminal Intent from sister cable network USA and pairing it on Wednesdays in early January with the flagship Law & Order.

Both moves are writers' strike related. Incumbent Wednesday night freshmen Bionic Woman and Life will have run out of new episodes by then.

Law & Order, originally set to return for its 18th season on Sunday nights after football, instead will relaunch with a two-hour premiere on Jan. 2nd at 8 p.m. (central). This season's Criminal Intent cable episodes then will begin their "broadcast premieres" on the following Wednesday at 8 p.m., preceding Law & Order.

At least half-inoperative is NBC's previously announced midseason Sunday lineup of Dateline NBC, Law & Order, Medium and Lipstick Jungle. Still in place for now are Dateline and Medium. But as previously reported, Lipstick Jungle has been shifted to Thursdays at 9 p.m., where it will replace ER on Feb. 7th.

***CBS also announced a series of midseason shuffles late Monday afternoon. Here are the highlights:

As predicted in these spaces, Big Brother 9 has received a rush order and will premiere in February instead of next summer. CBS will deploy the cutthroat reality competition on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, beginning Feb. 12th.

The Tuesday BB will replace The Unit at 8 p.m. Wednesday editions will be at 7 p.m., supplanting Kid Nation. And on Sundays, BB will stand in for the previously canceled Viva Laughlin at 7 p.m.

CBS also has announced the return of a limited second season run of Jericho, which will fill the failed first-year Cane's Tuesday, 9 p.m. slot on Feb. 12th.

The Drew Carey-hosted game show, Power of 10, will return on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd at 7 p.m. until Big Brother 9 takes over on Feb. 13th.

On Mondays, new episodes of The New Adventures of Old Christine get the 8:30 p.m. slot (in place of Rules of Engagement), beginning Jan. 28th. Also on that date, at 7:30 p.m., CBS premieres the new sitcom The Captain, fronted by Jeffrey Tambor and Raquel Welch. It presents a so-called "wildly eclectic group of people whose lives are intertwined through the place they all call home, a fabled Hollywood apartment building, El Capitan." Shelved for now is The Big Bang Theory

CBS also has re-scheduled its six-hour Commanche Moon miniseries, a prequel to Texas author Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Previously pitted against college football bowl games, it's now earmarked for Jan. 13th, 15th and 16th at 8 p.m. each night.

***The first chapter of Sci-Fi Channel's six-hour Tin Man miniseries set a ratings record for the network Sunday night. It drew 6.3 million viewers nationally, bettering the 6.1 million who watched the first night of Steven Spielberg's Taken Dec. 3, 2002 on Sci Fi.

Tin Man continues on Monday and Tuesday nights this week.