the-x-factor-season-3-finaleThe third-season finale of Fox’s The X Factor drew a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 last night. That was up 42% from last Thursday and the series’ best showing in two months, and helped Fox win the night in 18-49. But the closer was down sharply — by 45% from last season’s finale — mirroring the performance finale’s 48% year-to-year drop. In most current ratings, Season 3 of The X Factor averaged a 2.1 in 18-49, down 42% from Season 2. (In total viewers, its average was 6.7 million, down 32%). Yet, Fox is in negotiations for a fourth season and X Factor honcho Simon Cowell already is plotting changes for next fall.

Not much else on TV last night as the networks are switching to repeat mode heading into the holidays. NBC’s The Sing Off (1.2), which had been beating X Factor, slipped another 8% to a season low and was topped by the Fox singing competition for the first time this year. Both reality series were out-rated by the 1965 cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas (1.7 in the 8 PM hour vs. 1.5 for X Factor and 1.2 for The Sing Off). Even in repeat, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (2.8) was the highest-rated program of the night by a mile. (With all reruns, CBS edged Fox for the total viewer Thursday crown with 6.9 million vs. 6.2 million). On ABC, The Year two-hour ABC News special hosted by Robin Roberts posted a 1.4, down 13% from last year’s special hosted by now former ABC News staffer Katie Couric. (In total viewers, this year’s special was slightly up from last year, 5.7 million to 5.4 million).