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"E.R.'s prognosis: healthy

ER, NBC's new hospital drama, continues to be strong ratings medicine, moving up one notch to No. 3 last week.

Meanwhile, with David Caruso about to cop out of NYPD Blue and with Jimmy Smits ready for backup duty, the ABC police drama maintained its second-season hot streak, ranking 10th, the A.C. Nielsen Co. said Tuesday.

In the evening news, ABC retained its customary first place with a 9.8 rating and a 20 share. CBS had an 8.8 rating and an 18 share, NBC an 8.2 rating and a 17 share.

Holding onto first and second place were ABC's Tuesday sitcoms Grace Under Fire and Home Improvement.

In prime time overall for the week of Oct. 17-23, CBS made a comeback from third place to tie front-runner ABC with a 12.1 rating and a 20 share. NBC had an 11.4 rating and a 19 share. Fox had a 7.7 rating and a 12 share.

Each ratings point equals 954,000 households. Share is the percentage of TV sets in use at any one time that are tuned to a particular broadcast.

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