“The X Factor” only copped 8.6 million viewers on Sunday night. (Jeffrey Niera/Fox)

Simon Cowell’s new “The X Factor” took a nosedive when rained-out baseball play that was moved into primetime on the east coast forced one of the singing competition’s two weekly episodes to move to Sunday night.

Only 8.6 million people watched the broadcast, in which X-testants continued to sing by the pools at Simon Cowell’s Chateau Les Girls somewhere in France, at LA Reid’s Boys Camp in the Hamptons, at Paula Abdul’s Mission Santa Paula in Santa Barbara, and at Nicole Scherzinger’s Malibu pad (360 ocean/jetliner views, with a lanai and a pool!).

That’s the show’s smallest audience so far this season, though Fox is certain to “special out” the episode, which means the puny ratings won’t be counted against the show’s season average and thwart British reality-TV impresario Cowell’s hopes of eventually achieving 20 million viewers for his franchise, in its U.S. iteration.