Ratings: NBC’s ‘State of Affairs’ Has Respectable Start, But It’s No ‘Blacklist’

Katherine Heigl State of Affairs Career

UPDATE: In updated national estimates by Nielsen released Tuesday afternoon, “State of Affairs” held at its 2.2 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 while edging up in total viewers to 8.69 million. It retained 88% of the prior four-week average in the time period for “The Blacklist” in 18-49 (2.2 vs. 2.5) and 92% in total viewers (8.7 million vs. 9.5 million).

ABC, whose prelim numbers were inflated by football preemptions, saw only a 0.1 downward adjustment for “Dancing With the Stars” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 14.30 million viewers overall), which hit a TV-season high and had its most competitive demo showing relative to NBC’s “The Voice” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 11.13 million viewers overall) this fall. The Alphabet’s “Castle” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 9.38 million viewers overall) was revised down 0.2 in the nationals, but that was good enough for a four-week high as it likely picked up some “Blacklist” viewers.

The only other demo adjustment in the nationals came for Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.68 million viewers overall), which gained a tenth to rise above the 1.5 it had notched the previous two weeks.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans won the night overall with a 4.5 demo rating and 12.77 million total viewers. 


NBC drama “State of Affairs,” the last of the fall’s 23 new broadcast series to premiere, opened to decent but underwhelming numbers on Monday, teaming with a cooling “The Voice” to keep the net ahead of its rivals in young adults.

“State of Affairs,” which stars Katherine Heigl as a CIA analyst who assembles the President’s daily press briefing on urgent security issues, averaged a 2.2 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. In the demo, it finished ahead of the competing dramas on ABC and CBS and ranks fifth among the 11 dramas to bow on the Big Four this fall — but it’s easily the lowest of the five NBC dramas to bow behind “The Voice” to date.

Of course, “The Voice” has been fading, and its 3.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 on Monday was a season low and well below the lead-in afforded previous post-“Voice” launches including “Smash,” “Revolution” and “The Blacklist.” “State’s” roughly 73% retention of the music contest’s demo audience puts in in line with the two most recent dramas to air their first episode Mondays at 10 (“Believe” and “The Blacklist”).

NBC is hoping “State” can keep the network on top in what has become its strongest drama timeslot — the hour behind “The Voice.” It plans to move “The Blacklist,” which had been airing Mondays at 10 until last week, to Thursdays starting in February. In its final Monday airing, “Blacklist” last week averaged a 2.5 demo rating behind a 3.2 for “The Voice.”

Elsewhere, Fox’s “Gotham” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) rose a tenth week to week to edge out “State of Affairs” as Monday’s top drama in 18-49. It was followed by “Sleepy Hollow” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), which matched last week’s score.

CBS was up a bit from last week, with bookends “2 Broke Girls” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) both rising 0.2 week to week; the latter hit a four-week high and beat the premiere of “State of Affairs” in total viewers. In between, lame-duck half-hour “The Millers” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and first-year drama “Scorpion” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) held steady. “Scorpion” remained Monday’s most-watched drama overall.

ABC’s preliminary scores for “Dancing With the Stars” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall) and “Castle” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) are inflated by local-market preemptions for the “Monday Night Football” game in both Pittsburgh and Nashville.

CW’s “The Originals” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) and “Jane the Virgin” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) held steady.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.3/6; Fox, 1.9/5; CBS, 1.8/5; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 13.1 million; NBC, 10.1 million; CBS, 8.6 million; Fox, 5.5 million; CW, 1.3 million.


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  1. zyggie says:

    KH show had a great lead in “The Voice” so a lot of viewers were curious and some just did not want to move to change channels so gave it a chance. KH is plastic and one sided. She complained about SR writing on Grey’s but the writing on State Of Affairs is not great. Wish her well but will not watch again which is my choice.

  2. Starr FitzGerald says:

    I thought this could be a good show, and I still think it could be. They do a good job – and the show is most interesting – when showing the CIA and Charlie deal with terrorists and other issues of national security. But all the political back-biting and sniping – well, I don’t like watching that when it’s real and I sure don’t want to watch it on TV. Why do they think that’s necessary??? I say just concentrate on what you do well, and forget the other mess.

  3. teresa says:

    Luv this show the NBC better give it a chance. It is going up against castle that already has an established fan base

  4. Eunice says:

    I love those earrings Hedli was wearing. Would love to buy them

  5. Ash Talon says:

    I thought the first episode of State of Affairs was actually well done. Basically, it’s a TV version of Zero Dark Thirty. It’ll be interesting to see if the show can maintain the intensity as the season progresses.

  6. MMorningstar says:

    Of course it got good ratings the first night…everyone was curious. But I’m betting next week the viewership will cut in half. The only reason it did as well as it did is because it follows the hugely popular “The Voice” and many people just don’t change channels afterward…doesn’t mean they’re actually watching…they’re probably in the kitchen snacking. Everyone hates Katherine Heigl, so my guess is the show will be gone by the end of the first season.

  7. Justin says:

    Great show! I was actually really impressed by Katherine Heigl.
    Honestly, I think many of these Katherine Heigl haters form all their opinions of her based on a story of a story of a story. They don’t like her because the cool kids don’t, but they really can’t give any specifics why.
    I’m looking forward to next week and see how this show develops.

  8. dwightmlee says:

    I, like many, boycott anything with Katherine Heigl in it – so this is quite a miraculous rating for the premier – it won’t last though – as our web campaign to strengthen the boycott will take her down…

  9. Send Issie back to the trailer park!

  10. Michael Anthony says:

    If they wanted someone in action at the White House, they should have chosen another job. I kept waiting for someone to yell “Get back to your desk”! I don’t think this series will last.

  11. D says:

    To be fair it opened against Monday Night Football, which is always tough competition

  12. Goodbyenoway says:

    Please cancel this trash. Nothing with Heigl is worth watching.

    • Starr says:

      I’ve never been a big fan, but I don’t just hate her on spec. You guys have a real problem hating someone you’ve never met , and never will meet!

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