Sept. 12--Fox's singing contest "The X Factor" was back Wednesday for its third season, with Simon Cowell joined by returning judge Demi Lovato and two newcomers, Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland and Latin pop artist Paulina Rubio. The series returned with a one-hour telecast, unlike the previous two debuts, which were two hours long.
"The X Factor's" audience fell from last year. Wednesday night's episode drew a total of 6.2 million viewers, down 17% from the first hour of last year's premiere, which brought in 7.5 million, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.
The show's rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age group fell 22% from last year to a 2.1.
Fox also aired the finale of "MasterChef," which drew 6.2 million viewers, an increase of 11% from last week, and an 18-49 demo rating of 2.4, making it the highest-rated show across the big networks.
Overall it was a big night for Fox, which was the most-watched network, with 6.18 million viewers and a demo rating of 2.2.
On NBC, "America's Got Talent" narrowed its field to six contestants for next week's finale. The show drew 9.8 million viewers and a rating of 2.1 among 18-49-year-olds, down 9% from last week to tie its season low.
Also on NBC, Australian comedy import "Camp" was flat at 0.9.
CBS's "Big Brother" drew 6.68 million viewers and a rating of 2.2 among 18-49ers, down 4%.
ABC showed all reruns.
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