Ratings: NBC’s ‘State of Affairs’ Hits Low Without ‘Voice’ Lead-in

After hanging in there in recent weeks, NBC’s rookie drama “State of Affairs” took a step backward on Monday without lead-in support from “The Voice,” falling to its lowest score to date.

Granted, audiences aren’t trained to expect firstrun episodes from the networks in late December (and it could be that more people than usual will catch up via DVR playback), but “State of Affairs” (1.1 rating/4 share in adults 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) was down half a ratings point week to week and 0.3 below its previous nadir set Nov. 24 with its second episode. Its lead-in this week, a repeat “Saturday Night Live” Christmas special, did a 1.6 in the demo in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, a significant 43% lower than last week’s “Voice” (2.8).

Starting Jan. 5, “State of Affairs” will have “Celebrity Apprentice” as a lead-in.

In 18-49, last night’s “State of Affairs” tied with CBS’ encore of “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.1 rating/3 share in adults 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) and ahead of ABC’s “Castle” repeat (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

(The NBC program averages could be revised downward in the nationals due to a pre-emption in the Cincinnati market for the Bengals’ game that aired nationally on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”)

The football game, in which the Bengals beat the Denver Broncos 37-28, averaged a 10.2 overnight household rating for ESPN — its second best “MNF” score of the season (behind a 12.1 for Washington-Dallas in October).

Elsewhere, ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” finale (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week but delivered year-over-year gains for a third straight week. On average during its three-week run, “Christmas Light Fight” finished up vs. last year by 25% in 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.2) and by 28% in total viewers (6.0 million vs. 4.7 million).

CBS was the top broadcaster in the night’s opening hour with a special Monday repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) leading into an original “Mike & Molly” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall), with the latter coming within a tick of last week when it followed a firstrun episode of “2 Broke Girls.”

The half-hours were followed by repeats of “Scorpion” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

Fox aired repeats of “Gotham” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) and “Sleepy Hollow” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall). And CW went with special repeats of “iHeart Radio Jingle Ball 2014” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.3/4; ABC, 1.1/4; Univision, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.5/1; Fox, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 7.3 million; ABC, 5.4 million; NBC, 4.9 million; Univision, 2.8 million; Fox, 1.6 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million; CW, 1.4 million.

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