By James Hibberd
Updated February 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM EST
Credit: Fox
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NBC won Monday night with another impressive performance from The Voice, but its new drama series Smash fell a worrisome amount in the ratings.

Smash (8.1 million viewers, 2.8 adults 18-49 rating) was down 26 percent from last week’s premiere, yet still won the 10 p.m. hour. Smash‘s dip partly reflects a drop from its lead-in, The Voice (16.1 million, 5.9), which fell 12 percent from last week’s debut.

You don’t want to paint Monday’s ratings poorly for NBC because, when taken as a snapshot, this was a great night for the network — NBC won every time period and put pressure on rivals (usual victor CBS watched its sitcom block fall to season lows). Yet when looking at ratings, you’re also following the trends. The Voice dip is actually good news, declining a mere 12 percent the week after a show’s huge Super Bowl-fueled launch is as strong as one can reasonably expect. The Smash drop is problematic, however. The musical was at a fine level — you just hope the brakes come on during the next couple weeks.

Another new midseason drama had rougher news. Fox’s Alcatraz (6.2 million, 1.9) keeps slipping, now down 17 percent to rank last at 9 p.m. among the major networks. House (7.2 million, 2.4) served as lead-in.

Also Monday: CBS had season-low episodes of HIMYM (3.4), 2 Broke Girls (3.7), Two and a Half Men (3.8), Mike & Molly (3.3) and Hawaii Five-0 (2.6). ABC’s The Bachelor (2.5) and Castle (2.0) mostly held up. The CW’s Gossip Girl (0.5) dipped to a series low and Hart of Dixie (0.6) was steady.

About Gossip Girl: Especially with The CW’s buzz-worthy pilots in the works, one might think that these low ratings indicate the show won’t get renewed. Thing is, GG was a flagship show for The CW’s first couple years. I’m hearing it’s really unlikely the network would axe the series without a proper send-off.

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Gossip Girl

Spotted: Serena, Dan, Blair, Chuck, Vanessa, and Nate — hooking up, breaking up, and freaking out. You know you love it! Xoxo!
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