By James Hibberd
December 07, 2011 at 04:54 PM EST

Chord Overstreet returned to Fox’s Glee last night, but he couldn’t prevent the show’s ratings from dipping to a season low.

Glee (7.1 million, 2.9 adults 18-49 rating) fell 9 percent from last week, even with Sam Evans back at McKinley High for the sectionals. The drop is not necessarily the show’s fault, though, since the deeper we get into December, the more likely it is that programs will decline from their averages as viewers take off for the holidays.

Plus, there was some competition.

Though CBS aired an NCIS repeat (which was the night’s most-watched program) during Glee‘s 8 p.m. hour, the Fox dramedy did face another musical-themed show — NBC’s A Michael Bublé Christmas (7.3 million, 1.5), though the special’s rating was pretty nonthreatening.

Fox’s New Girl (6.8 million, 3.4) fell 6 percent, but ranked as the night’s top-rated show. Then Fox had Raising Hope (4.6 million, 2.2), down 8 percent. Even with the declines, Fox won the night.

ABC’s Last Man Standing (8.7 million, 2.6) bucked the decline trend and went up 8 percent. Man Up (4.8 million, 1.6) fell 6 percent to a series low — if ABC’s midseason schedule wasn’t already a clear enough indication that this comedy isn’t likely to continue, numbers like this don’t help. At 10 p.m., Body of Proof (7.2 million, 1.5) hit an all-time low. NBC’s Biggest Loser (6.7 million, 2.2) was down 8 percent.

UPDATE: Glee rose a tick when the nationals came out today, so it’s now at 3.0.

Read more:

‘Glee’ recap: Let’s Hear It for the Kids!

‘New Girl’ recap: Like an Erotic Rope Course