Because Simon Cowell openly invited comparisons to American Idol this spring, admitting his goal was for The X Factor to surpass that Fox sensation in total viewers, last night's premiere must be considered a disappointment.
The X Factor was not even the most-watched premiere of the evening.
That distinction belonged to Modern Family, whose back-to-back episodes earned the Emmy-winning sitcom 14.3 million viewers. Cowell and company debuted with 12.1 million. Elsewhere:
- Revenge garnered 11.4 million and was the most popular ABC premiere at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays in four years. It beat out Ted Danson's debut on CSI (12.6 million).
- The Middle reached a series high with 9.6 million households tuning in.
- Up All Night (6 million) fell by 38 percent from its opening episode.
- Harry's Law (7.6 million) was down 45 percent from last year's premiere.
- America's Next Top Model (1.6 million) dropped 22 percent from a week ago.