'The X Factor' Judge Simon Cowell Fails to Match 'American Idol' Ratings

Despite the hype, Simon Cowell’s new reality talent competition The X Factor, which debuted on Wednesday night, did not measure up to his previous gig, American Idol. The X Factor brought in 12.1 million viewers, while the most recent season premiere of Idol boasted 26 million. ABC’s recent Emmy-winning comedy Modern Family beat The X Factor in a head-to-head competition in the 9 p.m. time slot with 14.3 million viewers. Cowell previously told The Hollywood Reporter that anything below 20 million viewers would be a “disappointment,” though many did not expect the series to initially rival Idol’s ratings.