‘The X-Factor’ Collapses in Ratings

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(from Billboard Magazine, November 12, 2013)  November’s sweeps period has made its way back on TV viewers’ calendars, and “The X-Factor” specifically has more pressure than ever before.  The Fox network show “The X-Factor” has been growing in popularity since it first aired in 2004 but has lost several viewers this year.  Fox network received “brutal” reviews last week which established a historically low-water mark for any big broadcasting network during this key sweeps period.  Nielsen Company says that the ratings for the hit talent show “The X-Factor” have fallen 28 percent in comparison from last year.  One of the shows’ biggest competitors is a music talent competition presented by NBC called “The Voice.”  NBC aired two episodes of their show this past week, which each exceed 11 million viewers whereas “The X-Factor” had a mere 4.5 million viewers for their show on Wednesday and only 3.7 million for Thursdays’ show.

Although viewers have not been tuning in to watch “The X-Factor” this month, the majority of Fox’s prime-time shows have been lacking attendance as well.   The network’s most watched show, “Sleepy Hollow,” was shown this past Monday and only managed to rank number 38 for the week’s total broadcast.  Nielsen Company states that Fox ranked fourth among other networks and their average 3.8 million viewers was smaller than any show recorded by ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox in past years.  Fox executives say they are directing their focus to the overall viewership.

Compared to last year Fox network’s ratings and viewers have dropped dramatically.  The network says that they cannot find one specific reason or show that is causing the drop. They plan to find the problem and resolve it as soon as possible by re-evaluating their focus and comparing it to the ratings and views of competing networks.  So far this month, no one network has received significantly better reviews than any other; however, interviews with Simon Cowell would infer that the company is a tad concerned.