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Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 09/23/2011

‘X Factor’ hangs on to viewers but gets thumped by another sitcom in second nght

“The Big Bang Theory” premiere scored 14 million viewers. (ADAM TAYLOR - WARNER BROS.)
Good news for Fox! The second night of “X Factor” clocked exactly the same size crowd that had watched the premiere the previous night – 12.1 million people, according to early stats.

Unlike scripted series that can do the best numbers they’ll ever see with their unveilings, reality competition series typically gain viewers as the contest progresses – unless a lot of those who sampled the first episode decide it belongs in their Life is Too Short category.

Now the bad news: once again, an hour of the two-hour “X Factor” episode got whomped by a comedy. How embarrassing for “record mogul” Simon Cowell.

On Thursday night, it was the one-hour season debut of CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” that thumped “record mogul” Cowell at 8 p.m. In the hour, “BB” snared more than 14 million viewers – and an impressive 3 million more than “X Factor.” “BB” also scored a higher percentage of the 18-49 year olds who are the bread and butter of broadcast TV, than Cowell’s competition.

It’s the same storyline as had played out Wednesday night when “X Factor” faced the one-hour season debut of ABC’s Modern Family.”

“X Factor” was at its best Thursday, ratings-wise, at 9:30 p.m., It appears that a chunk of the people who’d caught the first episode of NBC’s Steve Carell-less “The Office” (7.6 million viewers) opted not to check out the premiere of the sitcom that followed, “Whitney” (6.7 million).

Also at 9:30, some members of the Church of JJ – Abrams, that is –who’d checked out the first half-hour of his new CBS drama, “Person of Interest” (13.6 million) decided not to stick around for the second half-hour (12.9 million). And, and a sliver of the 2 million watching CW’s new “The Secret Circle” realized by 9:30 that it was about witches, not a hot sorority, and bailed, maybe to go see what “X Factor” cougars Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were up to.

By  |  12:58 PM ET, 09/23/2011

Categories:  X Factor

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