8:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'X Factor' Premiere Shrinks, Loses Time Slot to 'Big Brother'
The X Factor returned to Fox on Wednesday night, shedding roughly 22 percent of last year's comparably timed premiere haul and hitting series lows in the process.
Entering its third season and third judges panel makeover, the Fox singing competition aired for just an hour and averaged a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers in Fast National returns. Though last season's total haul was a 3.4 rating in the key demo, the typically lower-rated 8 p.m. hour brought a 2.7 adults rating. Last season's finale averaged a 3.1 rating with adults 18-49.
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Between seasons one and two, The X Factor shed a more significant 25 percent in the 18-49 demo -- though last year it had the disadvantage of going head-to-head with the first week of Voice auditions. Last night's episode went up against CBS' Big Brother.
Big Brother, averaging a 2.2 adults rating and 6.7 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, topped its competition by both measures. The narrow win among adults 18-49 could still see some changes in the rankings later Thursday with the arrival of final numbers.
Fox still won the night with adults 18-49 thanks to the season finale of MasterChef. Gordon Ramsay's cook-off averaged a 2.5 rating in the demo, up two-tenths of a point from last week. The network averaged a 2.2 adults rating and 6.2 million viewers.
CBS earned second-place status, with Big Brother its lone original of the night. The Eye pulled a 1.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers.
The worst news during the 8 p.m. hour might be reserved for Million Second Quiz. With increased broadcast competition, and no sports to speak of on cable, NBC's quiz show dropped in its third night to just a 1.2 rating. That's even with the Shark Tank rerun ABC scheduled in the hour. At 9 p.m., America's Got Talent (2.1 adults) shed two-tenths of a point from last week. Talent remained the night's biggest winner among total viewers with 9.8 million. Camp (0.9 adults) tied last week in its finale. The network pulled a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers.
Both ABC and The CW aired encores. ABC averaged a 1.0 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers, while The CW earned a 0.3 adults rating and 1.04 million viewers.
Univision earned a 1.3 adults rating and 3.4 million viewers. Telemundo averaged a 0.4 in the demo and 1 million viewers.