Simon Cowell made a solid return to Fox last night, but his new show The X Factor was no match for the Dunphys and Pritchetts (and a far cry from American Idol).
X Factor debuted to 12.5 million viewers and a 4.4 adults 18-49 rating, while ABC’s Emmy-winning Modern Family delivered 14.3 million viewers and a whopping 6.0 series-high rating. The reality competition drew about half the audience of the most recent season opener of American Idol (which delivered about 26 million viewers and a 9.7 in the demo), a point of comparison that’s inevitable, but also arguably unfair given the top-rated legacy of the other show (though Cowell himself invited the comparison in July, when he suggested to reporters that the new show might top Idol).
X Factor was significantly higher, however, than the debut of NBC’s fall singing competition The Sing Off, and was higher than the debut of Hell’s Kitchen in the slot last year. While a one-hour Modern Family not only won the night, but was up 18 percent from its premiere last fall.
“We’re happy with the numbers,” Fox’s president of alternative Mike Darnell tells EW. “The expectations were ridiculous, and internally this is our best numbers for a Wednesday during premiere week in 13 years. If we can keep anywhere close to these numbers for 40 hours in the fall, it would be amazing for us.” READ FULL STORY