8:50am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'X Factor' Finale Down From 2011, Still Tops Thursday
The second season finale of Fox's X Factor was up from recent showings, though the two-hour episode (which dubbed country singer Tate Stevens as the latest recipient of its $5 million contract) was down 18 percent from last winter's finale. Early numbers give X Factor an average 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.6 million viewers, its best showing by both measures since early October.
PHOTOS: The 'X Factor' Season 2 Finale
Encores gave CBS a second-place finish for the night, with a 1.9 adults rating and 8.7 million viewers.
ABC aired specials I Want a Dog for Christmas (even with last year's 1.4 adults) and CMA Country Christmas (down 29 percent from last year's 1.5 adults). The network averaged a 1.4 adults rating and 6.6 million viewers for the night.
NBC News special A White House Christmas: First Families Remember performed well for the network. The 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 spiked from its typical Thursday showing at 8 p.m. After encores of The Office and Parks & Recreation, Rock Center With Brian Williams averaged a 0.8 rating in key demo -- down one tenth of a point from last week. The network averaged a 1.1 adults rating and 4.9 million viewers.
Encores of The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast pulled a 0.3 adults rating and 930,000 viewers.