This is why the networks continue to go for star vehicles — despite pretty bad reviews, NBC’s drama State Of Affairs, toplined by Katherine Heigl, opened solidly last night with a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49. That was down from the debuts of the previous three NBC dramas slotted behind The Voice on Monday, Smash (3.8), Revolution (4.1) and The Blacklist (3.8), but The Voice is not as potent lead-in as it was in its early days. Last night, the singing show logged a 3.0 in 18-49, down -6% from last week, vs. a 4.9 leading to The Blacklist series premiere last fall. State Of Affair‘s retention was 73% in 18-49 vs. 77% for The Blacklist debut.

State Of Affairs ranks No.5 among new drama openers this fall, behind ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder (3.8), Fox’s Gotham (3.3), CBS’ Scorpion (3.2) and CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans (2.5). Underscoring the importance of a strong lead-in, besides the Batman prequel Gotham, all others benefited from following some of the biggest series on television, ABC’s Scandal and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and NCIS.

State Of Affairs has to build a fanbase fast as it will only have The Voice as a lead-in for a few more times before the singing competition goes on hiatus between cycles and State Of Affairs will be paired with Celebrity Apprentice.

With Blacklist gone from Mondays, Fox’s Gotham (2.3, up +5%) logged its first finish as the No.1 drama on the night in Live+Same Day 18-49 ratings. Sleepy Hollow (1.5) was flat.

The departure of The Blacklist also boosted CBS’ 10 PM drama NCIS: Los Angeles (1.7, +13%), which posted its highest demo rating in a month. Both NCIS: LA (8.70 million) and ABC’s 10 PM entry Castle (9.9 million) are currently running ahead of State Of Affairs (8.65 million), though ABC’s fast nationals are inflated by a local NFL pre-emption. (Just FYI, current ABC demo ratings, which will be adjusted down significantly are 2.4 for Dancing With The Stars and 2.0 for Castle).

CBS’ 8 PM anchor 2 Broke Girls (2.1) perked up by +11%. In its final airing on Monday (and possibly anywhere on the CBS in-season schedule), The Millers matched last week’s series low of a 1.5 demo rating. Also even with last week’s low is new drama Scorpion (2.0), which will get some help in the lead-in department in three weeks when Mike & Molly moves into the Monday 8:30 PM slot. Scorpion was once again the most watched scripted show on Monday (10 million).

The CW’s The Originals (0.7) was even with last week, while Jane The Virgin (0.4) was down a tenth.