HUGE ratings drop the latest disastrous event for The Event

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:51 PM EST

Monday was a bad night for NBC and The Event, as the alien conspiracy series took a major ratings hit, losing nearly a third of its audience.

The series returned from its three-month midseason hiatus with two back-to-back episodes that could only score a 1.4/4 rating, with 5.53 million total viewers in the first hour and 4.93 in the second, or a shocking drop of 26 percent.

When we last saw The Event in late November, the series had settled in with a 1.9 rating and impressive timeshifted ratings that nearly doubled its audience. Time will tell how Monday's outing rates when it comes to the TiVo crowd.

I chatted with executive producer Evan Katz in an exclusive interview that took place as he was readying the series for Monday's premiere and he was worried about seeing The Event off the air for such a long time.

"I think the mistake was not starting us in January to begin with. I mean, as a serialized show. It was like, we need to run these episodes straight through," said Katz. "That's what they found with 24. You put it on, you take it off—the ratings go down. So it's not ideal, but what are you going to do? ... It's always a challenge to come back after so many months." Katz was an executive producer on 24 before he moved on to The Event.

However, things look brighter when the timeshifted audience is figured in, he said. "The show takes in an almost bizarre jump in the DVR numbers. The last episode that they tracked went up 53 percent in the TiVo rating. Half again as many people are watching, which is crazy." That episode aired Nov. 30.

"I feel the material is really strong. I'm excited about the show. I feel like the episodes are just getting better each time, and I think we're in a great groove," said Katz. "It's just about NBC getting the message out."

While The Event's ratings are certainly starting out better than The Cape's last episode, which ended its run with a 1.2/3 rating for 18-49 adults and 4.097 million viewers, it's worrisome to see the series fall so far. The Event premiered in the fall with nearly 11 million viewers.

What do you think? Is The Event history?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)