“The X Factor” Finale Ratings Fall 45% from Last Year’s Mark

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Thursday’s two-hour “The X Factor” finale drew the series’ best numbers in weeks, but when compared to last year’s performance–which was not considered especially impressive–the rating looks very bleak.

The finale, which crowned Alex & Sierra the third US “X Factor” winners, drew a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating with 6.20 million viewers. Last year’s finale drew a 3.1 with 9.66 million viewers.

The half-hour breakdown for this year’s finale was as follows:

8PM: 1.4, 5.55 million
8:30PM: 1.7, 6.03 million
9PM: 1.8, 6.39 million
9:30PM: 1.9, 6.85 million

Despite airing against virtually no original competition, “The X Factor” still only claimed second in the 8PM slot (behind CBS’ combination of “The Big Bang Theory,” 2.8, and “The Millers,” 1.7). It did, however, win the 9PM slot (its nearest competitor was a re-run of “Saturday Night Live: SNL Christmas,” which drew a 1.7 and 4.53 million viewers in the 9PM hour).

It also, for the first time this season, defeated NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” The hourlong NBC broadcast managed just a 1.2 rating with 4.44 million viewers at 8PM.

Though FOX has yet to formally confirm his statement, “X Factor” judge and producer Simon Cowell said this Monday that the show will return, again with some format changes, next year. He later confirmed that judge Demi Lovato, who appeared in the second and third seasons, will not be back.