Former American Idol judge Simon Cowell has previously stated that he wanted the US version of The X Factor to perform better than American Idol in the ratings, but the first show attracted only about half the audience numbers of the rival talent show.
The first episode of X Factor USA has been beaten in the TV ratings by comedy Modern Family, according to new viewing figures.
Simon Cowell’s X Factor was seen by 12.1 million people on Fox, while the ABC program Modern Family, a comedy series captured 14.3 million, making it the night’s most watched show.
Modern Family was honored with five prizes at Sunday night’s Emmy Awards.
Last year’s American Idol season finale was watched by 24 million viewers. It was the first series not to feature Cowell as a judge, after he stepped down ahead of the US launch of X Factor.
During the opening show, Judge Cheryl Cole was replaced by singer Nicole Scherzinger with no explanation given.
Cole was dropped during filming of the show in June, amid speculation that her accent was too strong for US audiences
However, television critics responded warmly to the British singer’s brief appearance on Wednesday night, with one critic calling her accent “fabulous” while another called Scherzinger a “seat-warmer”.