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THE HEAT IS ON

With CBS closing the ratings gap with once-dominant NBC on Thursday night, NBC has yanked this week's scheduled ER repeat in favor of a rerun of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Variety speculates that the network made the switch because it wanted to avoid "the embarrassing possibility" of CBS's Without A Trace — which airs an original episode Thursday — beating ER in the ratings. Interestingly, CBS is holding a last-minute telephone press conference today with Trace leading man Anthony LaPaglia to hype Thursday's episode. Coincidence? We think not.

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With CBS closing the ratings gap with once-dominant NBC on Thursday night, NBC has yanked this week's scheduled ER repeat in favor of a rerun of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Variety speculates that the network made the switch because it wanted to avoid "the embarrassing possibility" of CBS's Without A Trace — which airs an original episode Thursday — beating ER in the ratings. Interestingly, CBS is holding a last-minute telephone press conference today with Trace leading man Anthony LaPaglia to hype Thursday's episode. Coincidence? We think not.