Fox takes the night in key demo and total viewers with "X Factor" send-off
First, the good news for "The X Factor": Its season finale Thursday night grew double digits from last Thursday's episode and grabbed the night's top ratings, bringing Fox to a victory along with it, according to preliminary numbers.
Now, the bad news: Thursday night's finale was down double digits from last season's send-off.
The finale, which filled Fox's primetime slate, drew a 3.1 rating/9 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 9.6 million total viewers — enough to easily put Fox in first place for the night in both categories.
While those numbers represent a 29 percent jump in the demo and a 25 percent climb in total viewers over last week, the finale was still down 18 percent in the demo from last season's finale, which posted a 3.8/11.
CBS, which aired repeats throughout the night, took a distant second place in the demo with a 1.9/5 and a closer second place in total viewers with 8.7 million. (A "Big Bang Theory" repeat at 8 was the night's most-watched show, with 10.9 million total viewers.)
ABC tied Univision for third in the demo with a 1.4/4 and took third in total viewers outright with 6.6 million. (Univision averaged 3.5 million total viewers for the night.) Following "Charlie Brown: I Want a Dog for Christmas" at 8, which drew even with last year's airing for a 1.4/4 with 5.1 million total viewers, "CMA Country Christmas" at 9 was down 29 percent from last year, drawing a 1.5/4 and taking 7.3 million total viewers.
NBC came in fifth in ratings and fourth in total viewers with a 1.1/3 and 4.9 million. The special "A White House Christmas: First Families Remember" at 8 drew a 1.6/5 with 8.5 million total viewers. Following repeats of "The Office" and "Parks & Recreation," "Rock Center With Brian Williams" dropped 11 percent to a 0.8/2 and drew 3.5 million total viewers.