The second Saturday with Simon Cowell back on the judging panel of The X Factor UK was down 580K viewers from last week. The ITV singing competition drew an average 8.91M viewers for a 41.7 share in the overnights. Last Saturday’s debut with Cowell returning was the best season launch since 2011 and averaged 9.49M. Cowell’s return does look like it’s having the desired effect of goosing ratings compared to last year, however. Last night’s episode, airing from 8-9:20PM local, was up 610K on 2013’s equivalent. According to ITV, the show peaked with 10.1M viewers and a 46 share. It was the most-watched program on UK TV last night.
Ratings for tonight’s X Factor installment will be telling. The show will go head-to-head with the Season 12 launch of BBC One’s popular Strictly Come Dancing which airs from 8-9:15PM. X Factor is on from 8-9:05PM. Cowell recently accused the BBC of wanting to “damage” his show by slotting Strictly then. But the BBC said it was trying to get out of the way of a double ep of ITV soap Corontation Street which had been bumped to Sunday to avoid soccer on Monday. Last Sunday’s X Factor dropped 1.3M viewers from the previous day.