Well, this Thursday morning he woke up to a mixed alloy, as the X Factor premiere fell well shy of American Idol numbers, lost audience throughout its two-hour run, and in total viewers placed third in the 9 o’clock hour behind Criminal Minds (which was on par with its year-ago opener) and a double helping of Modern Family (aka the night’s most-watched and top-rated program).
Based on household ratings, X Factor was “up” versus Idol‘s own series premiere — but that aired in the summer of 2002, if you and Ryan Starr remember. Compared to Idol‘s first “in-season” premiere as well as its most recent season opener, X Factor was down sharply.
With the fast nationals now in, and going hour-by-hour….
8 pm | X Factor led in viewers/the demo, followed by Survivor (10.4 million/3.1, dipping from premiere). The Middle (9.6 mil/3.0) gained versus its previous premiere and matches its all-time demo high. Moving to its regular (maybe now temporary?) time slot, NBC’s Up All Night (6 mil/2.3) plunged from last week’s AGT-inflated sneak preview, as did Free Agents. The CW’s H8R is now mustering barely a million viewers, while its demo hit an unhead-of 0.4.
9 pm | Modern Family (14.3 million/6.0) topped all of Wednesday in both measures, building on last year’s opener by 13 and 20 percent, respectively. It was followed by Criminal Minds‘ 14.1 mil/4.1 (on par with a year ago), then the back end of X Factor. Harry’s Law (7.3 mil/1.2!) tumbled hard no matter how you slice it – versus its Monday freshman premiere or what SVU did here a year ago. Top Model (1.6 mil/0.8) slid 18 and 11 percent.
10 pm | Ted Danson’s CSI (12.6 mil/3.1) won the hour in viewers while ABC’s Revenge (10.1 mil/3.4) topped the demos. The “new” SVU placed a distant third with 7.6 mil/2.3 (down double digits from 2010).