It was a night of beginnings and endings on Fox on Wednesday. First off, The X Factor (2.1/7) was back for a third season at 8 PM. With an “everything’s good brother” and “that’s the easiest ‘Yes’ I’ve ever given in my life” from Simon Cowell, the show saw returning judge Demi Lovato, new additions Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland and a first round of auditions in LA. Hitting a series low and beaten by CBS’ Big Brother (2.2/7) in the time slot, X Factor’s first one-hour premiere also saw the show down 22% in fast nationals from the comparable hour from last year’s September 12, 2012 premiere. The previous low was a 2.3 on November 8, 2012. In comparing premiere to premiere, the 8-9 PM hour of last year’s two-hour debut drew a 2.7/9 in fast nationals, which went up to a 2.9/9 in the final numbers. (Overall, the 8-10 PM start of the second cycle got a 3.3/10 in fast nationals and went up to a 3.4/10 in the finals.) Also, unlike last year, when X Factor matched up against the third episode of Season 3 of The Voice in the 8 PM slot, Season 3 of the Fox show had the much weaker The Million Second Quiz as its competition on NBC. X Factor was down 17% in viewers to 6.2 million from a year ago. Still with a 2.2/7 rating, Fox was No. 1 for the night in adults 18-49 and in viewers with 6.177 million.
As of today, Fox has started to provide Live+7 estimations for its shows. The network has projected that X Factor will rise between 17%-21% in the key demo when the Live+7 numbers come in.
As X Factor began, MasterChef (2.4/7) wrapped its fourth season with a winner grabbing the title, a cookbook deal and $250,000. Having dominated Wednesday nights in the key demo for most of the past three months, the Gordon Ramsay-led series dipped 8% compared to last year’s finale. However, the show did rule the night among the 18-49s again and was actually up 9% from last week. In their Live+7 projections, Fox has the MasterChef finale rising 29%-38%. The end of this season doesn’t mean Fox will Ramsay-less for long – the new MasterChef Jr starts September 27.
A special eviction last night saw Big Brother down to its final four at the end of Wednesday’s show. With the Season 15 finale set for next week, this week’s show slipped 4% from the 2.3 rating of its September 4 show. With 6.8 million watching BB, Wednesday’s results also meant that not only did the CBS series beat the debuting X-Factor both among the key demo but also in viewership in the 8 PM – 9 PM slot. BB was the only original on CBS last night.
On NBC, Cowell’s former American Idol compadre Ryan Seacrest hosted another night of Million Second Quiz (1.2/4). In its third outing, the multi-platform live game show continued to fall, down 20% from Tuesday’s show and 29% from Monday’s debut. A live America’s Got Talent (2.1/6) saw 6 acts eliminated and 6 acts progress to next week’s final. It also saw the show dip 9% from last week. Australian dramedy Camp (0.9/3) ended NBC’s night even with its September 4 episode and tied a low.
ABC was all encores Wednesday.