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Fox’s ‘X Factor’ Hits Series Lows Kicking Off Its Third Season

Net's 'MasterChef' finale fares better, wins its hour; NBC's 'Million Second Quiz' drops again

Fox’s “The X Factor,” which tried to create some excitement for season three by shaking up its judging panel one more time, stumbled out of the gate Wednesday with series-low ratings. The net fared better with the finale of “MasterChef,” which was the night’s top broadcast in young adults.

Singing competition “The X Factor,” airing a single hour rather than its typical two, drew a 2.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen — down 22% in the demo from its first-hour prelim score of a year ago (2.7). It was down 36% from its two-hour prelim average of last year (3.3).

And last year’s “X Factor” premiere aired directly opposite NBC’s “The Voice” for an hour.

X Factor” last night was beaten head to head by the penultimate Wednesday episode of CBS’ summer series “Big Brother” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

This certainly isn’t the start Fox was hoping for, as “X Factor” was down last season by 20% from its strong first year. Last night’s premiere marked the debut of new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, who joined the returning Demi Lovato and series creator Simon Cowell.

Fox followed “X Factor” with the season finale of “MasterChef” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which was up week to week and stood as Wednesday’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49. Winning three of the night’s half-hours, Fox was the No. 1 broadcaster on Wednesday in 18-49.

Elsewhere, NBC’s “The Million Second Quiz” does not look like it’s going to mount a comeback, falling for a second straight night from its modest Monday premiere. Airing opposite “Big Brother” and “X Factor” at 8, “Million Second Quiz” on Wednesday’s earned a 1.2 rating/4 share and drew 5.2 million viewers overall, down from the 1.7 demo rating on Monday and a 1.5 on Tuesday.

For its hour in the adults 18-49 demo, “Quiz” tied for third place among the Big Four with a special repeat of ABC’s “Shark Tank” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

Airing opposite “MasterChef” at 9, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) was down from last week but was the night’s No. 1 broadcast series in total viewers.

At 10 p.m., NBC aired the finale of drama “Camp” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), which was in line with last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.2/7; CBS, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; ABC, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.4/1; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: Fox and NBC, 6.2 million; CBS, 5.9 million; ABC, 3.6 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW and Telemundo, 1.0 million.

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