X Factor, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell

Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Simon Cowell's The X Factor had a rough morning in the headlines, but was its debut really all that bad?

A look at Wednesday's key premiere-week TV ratings performances:

BIG IS BIG

The X Factor (12.2 million viewers, per estimates): Yes, it's true, it "premiere[d] lower than American Idol," but which American Idol? Against latter-day IdolThe X Factor was no competition. But versus Idol's own series premiere, The X Factor looked huge. (Understood: The Cowell of 2011 is far more famous than the Cowell of 2002, so even this comparison is imperfect.) The bottom line: The X Factor is the biggest new fall debut yet for a show that didn't debut after the Two and a Half Men Super Bowl. 

BIGGEST IS BIGGEST

Modern Family (14.2 million viewers): The night's No. 1 show with series-high numbers, no less. Take that, Emmy curse.

GOOD STARTS

Criminal Minds (14.1 million viewers): The night's No. 2 show in overall viewers held steady (and actually improved) compared to last fall's premiere.

Revenge (10.2 million viewers): The newbie won the 10 p.m. time slot in adults 18-49, beating the likes of Harry's Law (7.3 million viewers overall), and assembled a New Girl-sized audience.

The Middle (9.6 million viewers): The returning comedy, now three seasons old, held its own and then some against the first hour of The X Factor.  

NOT BAD, NOT WHAT THEY USED TO BE

CSI (12.6 million viewers): The aged crime series, making its Wednesday and Ted Danson debuts, was an upgrade for CBS in the 10 p.m. hour over CSI: NY. Versus its own history, it was down about 2 million from last fall.

Up All Night (6 million viewers): In its regular time slot, and on its own minus America's Got Talent, the Will Arnett-Christina Applegate comedy was down a fast 4 million from last week's premiere. Still, it's an upgrade for NBC at 8 p.m. over last fall's short-lived Undercovers

JUST NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE

Law & Order: SVU (7.6 million viewers): In the wake of a cast shakeup, the 13th season premiere ran a distant third at 10 p.m.

DEATH-POOL WATCH

Free Agents (3.9 million viewers): Coming off its underwhelming early-bird premiere, the Hank Azaria was even more underwhelming in its second outing. Worse, it was not an upgrade over Undercovers.  

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.