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'Bachelor' premiere is lowest-rated ever: Was 3 hours too much?

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Bachelor

Maybe asking fans to watch a three-hour The Bachelor premiere was a bit too much. The 19th season of ABC’s reality hit returned to its worst ratings ever Monday night for a debut episode that was an unprecedented length. The Bachelor had 7.7 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, falling 19 percent from last year.

Competition might have been a factor too. Bachelor faced Night 2 of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice (6.6 million, 2.1), which was down 9 percent from Sunday’s impressive opener, yet still solid. And it’s worth pointing out The Bachelor‘s final hour rose to a decent 2.4 rating that won 10 p.m.

Another notable headline from Monday’s numbers: Gotham beat the hiatus curse while taking on its most campy ironic villain yet — Donald Trump. After taking a break for the holidays, Fox’s freshman comic-based series returned its best rating in three months. Gotham was the night’s top-rated program with 6.9 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49, up 9 percent from its most recent episode. Here’s EW’s Jeff Jensen with a critical take on the episode and the show so far.

Also Monday: I cut State of Affairs (4.4 million, 1.0) some slack in the Deathwatch status update on Sunday, but now that it’s back from the break and still doing terrible, the Katherine Heigl thriller is definitely endangered. With Gotham rising, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow(4.5 million, 1.6) had its best rating in more than two months — no, that’s not a typo, a 1.6 really is Hollow’s best rating in two months! CBS was up across the board in the demo: 2 Broke Girls (2.4), Mike & Molly (2.2), Scorpion (2.4) and NCIS: LA (1.9)

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