Wednesday Ratings: X Factor Premiere Hits a Series Low

Ouch. The X Factor premiere HIT A NEW SERIES LOW LAST NIGHT.  It’s a far cry from Simon’s 20 million prediction when he launched the series two years ago. Big Brother won the timeslot.

Via TVByTheNumbers

On FOX, the third season premiere of The X Factor hit a new series low with a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, way down from last year’s 3.4 adults 18-49 premiere rating. America’s Got Talent earned a 2.1, down two tenths from last week’s 2.3 adults 18-49 rating. On CBS, Big Brother scored a 2.2, down a tenth from last week’s 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.


CBS Big Brother 2.2 7 6.68
FOX The X Factor -Premiere 2.1 7 6.17
NBC Million Second Quiz 1.2 4 5.24
ABC Shark Tank -R 1.2 4 4.91
CW Arrow -R 0.3 1 1.18


FOX MasterChef -Finale 2.4 7 6.20
NBC America’s got Talent 2.1 6 9.79
ABC Modern Family -R 1.1 3 3.64
CBS Criminal Minds -R 1.1 3 5.07
CW Supernatural -R 0.4 1 0.92


ABC Modern Family -R 1.1 3 3.48


CBS CSI -R 1.2 3 6.00
NBC Camp 0.9 3 3.50
ABC Nashville -R 0.5 2 2.21

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  • ArielVanessa

    Yikes that’s pretty terrible. I can see the ratings rising a little tonight because its 2 hours, but still pretty bad.

  • hcpoirot

    Its official. people are now bored with singing competition.

    It does not bode well for X factor this season opening with the rating and such low total viewers. Usually it will only get worse. Simon need to make a drastic change for the judges week, maybe also the categories and live show if he want to see fourth season.

    Its also not a very good news for The Sing Off when season 4 will start later in the year.

    Lets see how will The Voice season 5 fare in a couple of weeks.

  • b_james

    That is pretty bad. Maybe people didn’t realize it was on since most new shows don’t start for another week or two?

  • hcpoirot

    And I do think 3 women judges will not attract more rating cause most of the singing competition viewers will be likely girls and moms. If he can get a male attractive singer (like Blake , Adam or Usher) as a fourth judge, that maybe different.

  • girlygirl

    Unless the ratings really improve, I think this will be the last season for XFUS. It’s clearly running 3rd among the 3 reality singing shows. FOX isn’t going to want to support 2 struggling singing competitions. I wouldn’t be surprised if by, say, 2015, The Voice is the only one of the 3 singing competition shows left

  • pj

    I think people are tired of Simon (except the tabloids). I also think Big Brother is getting close to winding down to the end so the invested people are not going to switch their viewing habits. I also think there is singing competition fatigue and X-Factor has been so horrible the past two years that it could take some time to gain traction, even if this panel is better. I don’t know. I didn’t watch.

  • Amy Beth

    He beat Ryan Seacrest’s show, so there’s that.

  • Jordan Seltzer

    Shame because this is the best XF yet. Panel is good. Great changes. People need to tune in.

  • ArielVanessa

    Idol is still Fox’s biggest show and is getting similar ratings to the Voice, so it’s hard to say which will be the last one standing…

  • yaddabing

    Fox really shot itself in the foot with this.

    Not only was this an expensive dud, but also hurt it’s ratings jewel Idol (I mean, the ratings were UP until XF premiered).

    I’m 97% positive that this will be cancelled, so they will have to come up with 3 hours of new programming next fall.

  • Amy Beth

    The Sing-Off is going back to its limited run holiday time slot. NBC will be grateful for any non-rerun content by then.

  • Mel432

    I like Demi and Kelly as judges. Simon did good with those hires. I still haven’t seen enough of the other girl.

    There were too many lousy singers last night. I fast forward through all those. I still don’t get why they even show them. I’ll watch the show to the end, tho.

  • Larc

    Once the new shows start, they will be increased competition for XF. They will probably look back on last night’s numbers as “the good times.”

  • carola99

    Oh, sads. I actually really liked the new panel. They gel very well and they are way more fun than last year.
    Hopefully tonight with a 2 hour episode the ratings will go up a bit.
    Fingers crossed.

  • Sassycatz

    I think they made the same mistake other networks have when they stumble upon a show that’s a ratings blockbuster, i.e., Idol…. They try and milk it. In this case, they tried to be clever by “milking it” with another show that’s pretty much a copy cat, instead of forcing Idol to produce two seasons per year the way The Voice is doing.

  • Mateja Praznik

    It was a one hour show? I downloaded it and the show was actually around 42 minutes long. Almost 1/3 of the show were commercials. Nothing has changed in America, I see. In today’s fast paced world, it’s really hard to expect from people to waste so much time on commercials. Watching TV shouldn’t be such a chore.

    The situation of singing talent show genre isn’t bright. 3 shows, 4 season per year + Got Talent … it’s just too much.

    American Idol has the tradition and pop culture status, but the format is old and by now it looks like TPTB have no plans to change it up in any significant way. The cast same types of contestants year after year, repeat old themes and songs over and over and people are just getting bored. The show produced some big success stories with longevity, but that was a long time ago. Recently, the winners are lucky to have one good era. Sophomore slumps seem inevitable.

    The Voice is a talent show that is too focused on the celebrity coaches. It’s not just in the US, in other countries too. They are trying hard with the last two The Voice USA winners to prove that they can launch a major label career. Cassadee might sell relatively well this fall, but I’m not sure about more.

    Oh and two seasons per year is just overkill.

    X Factor is the most entertaining show IMO and their machine really figured out how to launch the contestants from the British show. Not just in the UK, but worldwide. And, some of those contestants even managed to survive the sophomore slump. Launching the American alums is harder, because they are taunted by the reality show stigma.

    The American version of the show is struggling. I watched some last night. I really don’t know how people manage to sit through those commercial breaks. Comparing to the UK show, British commercial breaks seem to be much shorter. Or maybe the British know how to make the commercials less annoying? The British version of the show is really well paced. Anyway, American Idol has exactly the same problem, so it must be the way American TV works. Long and annoying commercials, slow-paced shows, not enough content. The new judging panel was good, tho.

    IMO, ratings for all three shows will continue to slide in America. X Factor and The Voice will probably last a while longer abroad.

  • Jason Gorny


  • Bugme Nomor

    There is also the possibility Fox placed X-Factor on their schedule because they didn’t want Simon to go head-to-head with Idol on another network.

  • Amy Beth

    All American shows have about the same # of commercials. So even if that stood out for you, that wouldn’t be the reason people here chose not to watch.

  • elliegrll

    Commercials and the time period aren’t the problem. The show had no hype or buzz. It aired before the official Fall season premiere, which could have helped and hurt it. People probably didn’t know that it was on, but the show didn’t have major competition from the other networks.

  • Listening

    I’d like to say I think a bunch of people didn’t even know X Factor started yesterday. I noticed on twitter people tweeting surprise that X-Factor was on and displeasure at missing it. I would of missed watching it myself if I hadn’t noticed it listed on my Guide simply in passing. I was surprised when I saw it was coming on Wednesday and I had planned on watching it all along. I still don’t know how I didn’t realize it premiered yesterday. I guess I never really payed attention to the actual start date just that it was soon. Anyway I expect an increase in ratings for today.

  • elliegrll

    I didn’t know that the show was premiering this week, until I came here and saw a post about it. The show doesn’t have any buzz, which is understandable, since it has never found its footing. The show has never found a tone outside of just being a copy cat version of AI. It’s amazing that not only is this show doomed, but its presence on Fox is also hurting American Idol.

  • elliegrll

    It was a risk, and Fox just made the wrong decision. It’s one of the main reasons why Mike Darnell is no longer with the network. The decision sped up AI’s decline.

  • elliegrll

    I agree that people didn’t know, but I think that that reflects the lack of interest in the show. At the most I think the ratings will be around 2.5, which is not as pathetic as a 2.1, but it’s still not anything special.

  • yaddabing

    but the format is old and by now it looks like TPTB have no plans to change it up in any significant way. The cast same types of contestants year after year, repeat old themes and songs over and over and people are just getting bored.

    ….We’ve yet to see the new season though. You can’t go labeling this season as “same ol’, same ol'” just because of the judges. Kelly was just transferred from the UK version and Paulina fits the new token “latino” judge, which *shockingly* Idol started. So it’s not like Simon/XF took some ~huge risk~. I know you hate Idol, but c’mon.

  • thirdtime

    This is extremely bad, considering X-Factor started before the other new fall shows did and there aren’t many choices of new programming to watch right now. I thought that would bring in the viewers. I don’t know about other areas, but the X-Factor premiere was advertised pretty heavily around here, so at least in this area (East Coast/Philly area), I don’t think it was because people didn’t know it was on.

  • yaddabing

    They went 9 years without milking it, there was no reason to start then.

    Reap what they sow I guess.

  • Ari

    Don’t think anyone here is surprised. Even knocking up your friends wife didn’t work. Adding an unknown Latina wouldnt. Giving Simon & Demi thessame categories as last year will add to the boredom. The Voice should move to Wed/Thurs & kill it. Its amazing how successful XF is in every country it launches except the US. Poor Simons ego! I know XF is launching in Israel in the post Voice world. Well see

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Actually, Fox went ONE year without milking American Idol. American Juniors — the kiddie edition — had its first and only season in the summer of 2003.

    CBS relaunched Star Search in 2004 in order to capitalize on interest in Idol. There were a slew of other singing competitions on various networks in the mid-noughties, as well. Nashville Star ran six seasons.

    What changes after 2010 is that American Idol got challenged effectively by non-niche singing competitions. Prior challenges were niche, failures, or both.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Kelly didn’t transfer. She did one season of X Factor UK in 2011 and then quit. She wasn’t bad as a judge, but two other judges accused Kelly’s best (and favorite) contestant of bullying. She and the other female judge (Tulisa) didn’t get along and when Tulisa’s girlband won, she knew Tulisa would be back for another season. That’s why Kelly quit, but was obviously game to sign up for X Factor USA.

  • Gwen

    Oh. It was on?

  • Ari

    It’s amazing that airing 2 seasons back to back didn’t hurt them. People aren’t watching the Fix shows anymore. We can probably expect similar ratings for Idol. Don’t see a reason to tube in & see Ryan, Randy, JLo, Keith again.. Not change I can believe in. The way to revive the show is to get someone like Susan Boyle to spark an Internet and media frenzy. XF does have that 54 woman who looks half her age. If she had a young Mariah voice, …. They need someone buzzworthy that people would wanna see. Watched XF & it’s boring. We’ve seen bad auditions & judges making fun of people for over a decade. Its not funny or entertaining anymore to see rich folk laughing at people..

  • Ari

    Get 1D and make it a 5 judge panel. #1show..(although Miley just beat their vevo record)

  • yaddabing

    I know she didn’t transfer directly, but she had her experience as a judge so she wasn’t a big risk.

    JLo quit after 2012, after being well received by the public for two years, and is coming back in 2014. I fail to see how TPTB at Idol should be criticized for playing it ‘safe’ when it’s essentially the same thing with Kelly.

  • Ari

    Notice how all the winners they tout at the beginning are from othershows, mmostly UK version. None of the US acts have gone anywhere… Youre saying it’s #1 show & your first winner didn’t even get an album released

  • yaddabing

    American Juniors was relatively a success though. It was just the failure to launch a successful group is what made them shelve it and just focus on the higher ratings and success to launch actual winners of Idol.

  • Ari

    That show is an even bigger disaster

  • Ari

    That’s what Nbc is doing with The Voice airing Fall & spring . Well have to see if by the end of Spring, their ratings slip too. Millionaire did the same thing

  • Ari

    And if it were a hit like every other XF around the world, they would have been geniuses. You never know what’s going to be a hit. If you think about it, they were going to have competition from Nbc or someone else regardless. You also have to wonder if a different season 1 panel would’ve worked. Reuniting with Paula was a mistake & who knows ifCheryl CCole would have become America’s sweetheart. Voice proved people would watch another singing show, but XF is too similar to Idol. In the UK & most if not all other countries, the XF format REPLACED Idol.. Here, both air

  • Tinawina

    LOL. I know, right? I blinked twice at the headline.

  • Trina

    WTF? So the commercials are to blame for why us stupid American hate XF?! wow. What about all those high rated shows with a lot of commercials? Oh wait, us Americans just have crappy taste to have the nerve to not like XF. Anything else you cant stand about America?

  • jpfan2

    Ugh. I hope this isn’t a sign of what Idol’s ratings will look like.
    I just think the XF doesn’t work in the US and this panel won’t help at all.

  • Mateja Praznik

    No, I said that to many commercials is still the reason why it’s so hard to watch American TV. Whether it’s X Factor or American Idol. Too much commercials, too little actual show.

    Oh and there are many things I don’t like about America (not related to TV at all).

  • jpfan2

    In my opinion (which seems shared by lots of viewers) XF isn’t really worth watching. The commercials are the least of it. ;0

    For some reason, XF which works in many other countries just doesn’t fly in the U.S. Please Fox put it out of its misery.

  • Guest

    I thought the same. The Voice should do that.

  • MV007

    Tv shows have been 42 minutes long for decades now. When idol does a 2 hour show its 84 minutes. I don’t think that has anything to do with anything since every show has been using that same format for so long.

  • Tinawina

    Idol should beat a 2.2 at least. I can’t hazard a guess what kind of ratings it will pull until I see the promo they put out. If the show looks like a fun time they might soften the inevitable drop a little.

    I bet The Voice will do well though. I think it will end up the highest rated singing show this season.

    They just need to cancel XF already, Barely anyone cares about it anyway.

  • Guest

    I noticed that and there was no mention of Tate Stevens or Melanie. I watched. The singers were a joke. Puklina Rubio… failed. Also, by having 3 ladies is a big mistake. Should of had another guy judge.

  • Sassycatz

    I think everyone overestimated Simon’s star power outside of Idol. Idol was a happy confluence of cast, host, format, right timing, etc. Idol managed to go on without him, but got chipped away by a hundred knife cuts — more than the one big axe of Simon leaving.

  • ArielVanessa

    I don’t think the Voice will do that great either, there is no evidence that will say otherwise. The ratings dropped a lot over the course of Season 4.

  • Tinawina

    I think it will end up the highest rated of the 3, put it that way. I don’t see it dropping off a cliff though I do expect a drop.

  • Sassycatz

    I still think it’s a cultural thing, at least in terms of how the show is done in other countries and how it was initially introduced in the U.S. Before it came here, I watched some of the UK version online and thought it was hilariously bad. So over the top with the ridiculous dancing and the production which trumped any kind of real singing talent. I’m kind of appalled that One Direction, that Ollie guy and Cher Lloyd have been launched over here. I thought they were horrific on X-Factor and rightfully lost to better singers.

  • jpfan2

    I felt the same way when I saw the UK version of the XF. Plus I cringed when I saw Simon. He wasn’t the same guy he was on Idol. The XF Simon is so sleazy he’s hard to watch.

  • Anny_nanny

    Producers of AI should adore the X-Factor.
    On a serious note, I would like to see this show has received a new impulse. I had huge expectations for him three years ago. Ugh!

  • yaddabing

    I prefer the production of XFUK, but it does get too OTT sometimes.

    However, I do believe it’s gotten much better since Simon left. Coincidence?

  • LeoCS

    Ouch! Not that I’m truly impressed but ouch!

  • Amy Beth

    I get the feeling that XFUK (and the other versions) aspire to be a local version of EuroVision. And that show is completely OTT!

  • Mateja Praznik

    LOL no, X Factor aspires to be like an award show. The performances are supposed to be like what you see at the MTV awards or grammys. Glamorous, complete with huge productions.

  • elliegrll

    In a way, Simon only has himself to blame. On AI he blasted the same types of performers who he has cast on the XF. Given some of the things that he said about Broadway, cruise ship, and lounge acts, he can’t expect us to take these same type of performers seriously on the XF.

  • yaddabing

    Well now Idol actually has *the* VMA producers!

  • Mateja Praznik

    Great. Hopefully they bring a choreographer or two, dancers, light show and everything else.

  • elliegrll

    Dancers haven’t helped the X Factor attract a younger audience, or any audience at all.

  • Beaugard Stevens

    I heard it was on last night but I just don’t have any interest in watching this show. If Simon would go back to being mean to the contestants, i think people would watch it, but he’s so bland and has none of the fire he displayed his first five years of Idol. And the contestants aren’t good, they are mediocre as it gets, so he does them no favors by not telling them.

  • Incipit

    “He wasn’t the same guy he was on Idol. The XF Simon is so sleazy he’s hard to watch.”

    Heh. Problem is – he IS the same guy. Mr. Insincere.

    Praising the same kinds of acts on his own show that he blasted on Idol for 9 seasons still doesn’t convince folks that that bogus ‘honesty’ label was ‘misnamed’, and he was just playing a part?

    Maybe Cowell didn’t think the American Audience would notice? In some cases, he was right.


  • Erlie

    I will be on the positive side, so I’ll say is it due to only one hour instead of two hours show time on the air last night? I can’t remember last year’s premiere night whether it was cut down to one hour also.

  • Stooch

    With some of my experiences watching XF the commercials were the best part lol

  • iani

    AI has been a show of following the contestants’ natural, raw talent and charisma or lack of exposed in 1 or 2h-show, the dancers are mostly for staged entertainment shows in MO; if a contender shows his/her dance ability, great, I would like to see something like this. AI should stay away to be seen as a sort of variete show if it wants to keep its fame of choosing an American Idol through the competitive selection. The entertainment part should come in MO from different sources well debated/discussed here not from some professional dancers next to focused competitors to give their best on live television only for some pageant, cheap-TV.

  • Karen C

    It could be because there are other reality shows in the last two weeks of their season. It’s harder to get someone to watch a new show if they are watching other shows.

  • ptslittlecomment

    And yet tonight he put a Broadway performer – disguised as a Nashville bartender – through with “four big fat yeses”, LOL! Hypocritical? That’s Mr. Cowell’s middle name.

  • Bluebeat

    I never really knew that the USA version of Big Brother even existed until this year. Is it actually popular in America now? I heard that it got cancelled many years ago. Its still going? Hmm

  • hcpoirot

    The problem with Simon is he cannot blast all the mediocre performances in XF like he did in Idol cause he is the producer of XF.

    He already portrayed mean, few compliment and (sometimes) honest judge in Idol, so it hard for the US viewers to take him as judge who praise anything mediocre into very good and the best.

    That also what hurt XF.

  • Bluebeat

    Yeah, XF is more about the full package and entertainment value of an act rather than the quality of their voice. Simon knows what the show is about so he can’t always so ‘no’ to someone that’s pitchy but has the total package.

  • Bluebeat

    I guess you’re right. I’m sick of them too…especially the type of singers that win nowadays. Only those that live in country-side watch them (evident with the type of singers that have won them during the last couple of years). Folks in the urban-side have other things to do or watch, which is why urban-genre singers don’t do well on these contests nowadays.