‘Sing-Off’ Beats ‘X-Factor’ Again As Fox Series Limps to Finale

ABC's '10 Most Fascinating People' is night's top broadcast, hits three-year high in total viewers

The Sing Off

Fox’s “The X Factor” is wrapping its third season quietly, as Wednesday’s performance finale drew just half of its year-ago young-adults rating and again finished behind NBC’s competing music series, “The Sing-Off.”

ABC did well, meanwhile, with its annual “Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People” special, which was Wednesday’s top broadcast. For the night, the Alphabet beat its rivals in both key demos and total viewers.

In advance of tonight’s season finale, “The X Factor” averaged a 1.3 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, down a tick from last week in the demo and ranking third among the Big Four in its timeslot. NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” which itself was down from last week, still finished ahead of it (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall).

“X Factor,” which has not been renewed yet by Fox, was down 52% in the demo from last year’s performance finale show (2.7) and came in about 40% lower in total viewers (from 8.3 million).

“X Factor” creator Simon Cowell confirmed Wednesday that Demi Lovato would not be returning next season to the show, which has yet to be picked up by Fox. Lovato is the sixth judge to exit the series during its three-season run, joining Britney Spears, L.A. Reid, Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, ABC finished on top as its annual Barbara Walters-hosted “10 Most Fascinating People” special delivered a solid 2.1/7 in 18-49 and 8.8 million viewers overall. Despite airing after a repeat “Modern Family” this year, “Most Fascinating” held steady in 18-49 while growing in just about every other demo and drawing the special’s largest overall audience in three years.

Earlier in the evening for ABC were encores of “The Middle” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” on a special night (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). “Modern Family” was the top broadcast program in its 9 o’clock half-hour in 18-49.

NBC followed “The Sing-Off” with “Michael Buble’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), which was down a bit from last year’s special and scored nearly as well as last week’s Kelly Clarkson Christmas special in the same time period.

CBS opened with its annual adoption-themed special “A Home for the Holidays” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), fronted this year by Celine Dion, and followed it up with encores of “Criminal Minds” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall).

CW did OK with its “iHeart Radio Jingle Ball 2013” special (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 1.8/6; NBC, 1.5/5; Fox, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.1/3; CBS, 1.0/3; CW, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 7.2 million; CBS, 6.0 million; NBC, 5.3 million; Fox, 5.0 million; Univision, 2.8 million; CW, 1.4 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million.