James Hibberd
January 10, 2012 AT 05:02 PM EST

Bachelor Ben just can’t keep it up.

Flajnik’s reality show’s ratings, that is. ABC’s veteran The Bachelor sunk to its lowest numbers ever Monday night, with 7.2 million viewers and a 2.2 rating in the adult demo. That’s down 8 percent from last week’s premiere. It’s pretty early in the show’s spring cycle to sink to a low and last night should have been stronger since rival CBS aired nothing but repeats.

The return of Castle (9.8 million, 2.3) wasn’t impacted, and, in fact, rose 15 percent from its last original five weeks ago. Also last night: week 4 of NBC’s Fear Factor (5.5 million, 2.2) dropped 8 percent to a low. Check out Kristen Baldwin’s Bachelor recap here.

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