By Lynette Rice
Updated April 27, 2010 at 04:43 PM EDT

Image Credit: Adam Larkey/ABCLove her or hate her, Kate Gosselin certainly helped to jack up Dancing with the Stars’ stellar ratings this season. Now the question is whether her absence could help to bring those numbers down. Last night’s telecast provided some indication that viewers are definitely drifting from the dance floor: The performance show posted its lowest ratings of the spring among adults 18-49 (4.3 rating/12 share), down 10 percent from last week and down 20 percent from its prior average (5.4/15). To be fair, the performance shows had already been posting week-to-week losses in the demographic since the show kicked off earlier this year with a 6.4/17. So typical erosion, not just Gosselin’s departure, may be partly to blame for last night’s lows.

DWTS still won its time period from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in total viewers (20.2 million) and adults 18-49. It was Monday’s most-watched TV series for the sixth week in a row. ABC also won the night in viewers (14.5 million).

Meanwhile, the second outing of ABC’s Romantically Challenged (2.7/7 in 18-49) dropped 7 percent from its premiere last week. Averaging 10 million viewers, the sitcom starring Alyssa Milano still boosted ABC’s performance in the time slot by 11 percent in total viewers and 23 percent among adults 18-49 compared to last year’s Surviving Suburbia.

Fox won the night among adults 18-49 and key male demos, thanks to originals of House (10.6 million) and 24 (9.2 million). CBS aired mostly repeats of its comedies, while an episode of Rules of Engagement posted its lowest ratings ever among adults 18-49 (2.4/7). On NBC, an original episode of Chuck only garnered a 2.1/6 in the demo (5.98 million viewers) while the season finale of Trauma trailed with a 1.6/4 (5.3 million).