"The X Factor's” two-hour debut Wednesday night was probably not what Fox hoped for: 12.5 million viewers. It was even beaten by the season premiere of "Modern Family." Final numbers are in, adjusted for time zones, and this 12.5 should stand.
Let's parse, shall we: This figure is about 50 percent below "American Idol's” launch figure last season, which means Simon will have to eat his words about beating -- or at least wanting to beat -- his alma mater. (On the plus side...Fox said this was the most watched Fox fall debut in five years, and the highest rated Wednesday 18-49 premiere performance in 13 years...)
Thursday night will be interesting -- ostensibly slightly weaker comp than last night, but only slightly, and with "Grey's Anatomy” arriving at 9 p.m., well, lights out for "X."
The more important figure has to be next Wednesday, and that's when hard judgments will be rendered. Problem with "X” from a creative standpoint is obvious: It's terribly similar to so much of what is already out there. Well produced, certainly, but hardly groundbreaking.