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Ratings: “State of Affairs” is Not as Hot as “The Blacklist” (Updated)

Update: Monday’s “State of Affairs” series premiere drew a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating with 8.69 million viewers.  It won its 10PM timeslot in adults 18-49 but placed third (of three national network broadcasts) in total viewers.

By comparison, last week’s “The Blacklist” fall finale drew a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating with 9.75 million viewers in the same timeslot. The season two “Blacklist” premiere garnered a 3.5 with 12.55 million viewers, while last year’s series opener scored a 3.8 with 12.58 million.

The special series premiere of “Believe,” which aired in the same Monday at 10PM slot last spring, posted a 2.7 with 10.56 million viewers.

To the credit of “State of Affairs,” its “The Voice” lead-in was weaker than it was for each of the aforementioned points of comparison.  Monday’s top twelve edition of “The Voice” posted a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating with 11.13 million viewers.

Given the hype behind the “State” premiere, the reduced lead-in support should nonetheless not serve to absolve the series’ premiere performance of all criticism.  It was clearly an unremarkable showing.

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Considering how well it not only premiered but continued to perform in its post-“The Voice” timeslot, NBC’s “The Blacklist” provides something of an unrealistic standard for Monday at 10PM. It is doubtful NBC expects any future occupant to deliver the same marks in the spot and even less likely that the network does in the wake of a ratings decline for lead-in “The Voice.”

But it nonetheless does provide a clear standard for comparison that will be impossible to ignore whenever a new series airs in the slot.

It is thus impossible to refrain from noting that new Katherine Heigl vehicle “State of Affairs” did not perform as impressively Monday night.

It is also, however, impossible to refrain from noting that “State of Affairs” received nowhere near the same support.

Leading out of an episode of “The Voice” that drew a 7.4 overnight household rating, Monday’s “State of Affairs” launch scored a 6.0 overnight household rating.

By comparison, last year’s “The Blacklist” series premiere drew an 8.0 overnight household rating out of a 9.2 for “The Voice.” This past September’s season two premiere, meanwhile, scored a 7.8 with lead-in support of 8.5.

That does not, however, mean one should walk away with an especially positive interpretation of the “State of Affairs” performance. Retention for the series premiere was actually weaker than that demonstrated by last week’s “The Blacklist” fall finale (6.3 overnight household rating out of a 7.5 for “The Voice”). Insofar as an aggressively promoted series premiere should draw more curiosity than a second season drama’s fall finale, even a comparative performance level can be seen as somewhat disappointing.

One interested in a non-“The Blacklist” comparison, meanwhile, can turn to last spring’s “Believe” series premiere. Airing out of an episode of “The Voice” that drew an 8.7 overnight household rating, “Believe” scored a 6.8. The performance was considered respectable at the time, but the show quickly sank upon relocating to its regular Sunday night timeslot. It was cancelled at the end of the season.

Adults 18-49 and total viewership data is due by noon.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]headlineplanet.com.

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