Law_%26_Order.jpgLaw & Order is back for its eighteenth season and it is back in its traditional home of Wednesday at 10 p.m., although this week we get two hours starting at 9 p.m. and thanks to a stockpile of scripts written ahead of the writers strike, we can expect oodles of new episodes into the spring. Also thanks to the WGA strike, it will be the best thing on television for the for the foreseeable future.

Despite the move back into the familiar time slot, things are not going to be the same. Fred Dalton Thompson off running for president, so Sam Waterston takes over as New York County D.A. in a pretty nice promotion for his Jack McCoy character who has been toiling as an executive assistant district attorney since 1994 on the show. His old slot is filled by British actor Linus Roache who plays Michael Cutter. On the NYPD side of the show, Jeremy Sisto is the new junior detective Cyrus Lupo. Thanks to the structure of the show, the impact of revolving cast members is minimal compared to other shows.

Also of note this week:
Honeymooners Marathon (Tuesday, 12 midnight, WPIX 11) Bang! Zoom! It is channel 11’s annual New Years Day marathon of The Honeymooners.

Great Performances: New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Joshua Bell's Romantic Violin (Monday, 8:00 p.m., WNET 13) Live from Avery Fisher Hall it is this year’s New Years Eve gala concert.

Pioneers of Television (Wednesday, 8:00 p.m., WNET 13) The first episode of a four part look at the early days of television tackles sitcoms.