X Factor USA Debut Flops With Just 12.1M Viewers

The highly anticipated debut of X Factor USA has failed to impress with only 12.1 million viewers tuning in last night. ABC’s The Middle-Modern Family was the winner of the night, ranking first with 14.3 million viewers.

X Factor received a 4.2 rating from adults aged 18 to 49 while Modern Family received a rating of 6.0.

Simon Cowell’s new show only drew about half the audience of American Idol’s season debut which amassed more than twice as many with 26 million viewers.

Cowell has put most of his time and effort into X Factor stateside, hoping for the same success as the U.K. He has stepped down from the judging roles in the U.K. X Factor and on American Idol.

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger are the four judges on the panel. The X Factor winner will get a $5 million record contract.

Controversy surrounds “X-Factor” judge Simon Cowell’s decision to fire fellow judge British Cheryl Cole from the show.

The British singing sensation previously served as a judge on the U.K.’s version of “X-Factor,” and appeared alongside Cowell during auditions in Los Angeles before she was let go from the American show.

“I took the view, along with a few other people, that she would have been more comfortable back in the U.K.,” Cowell said while on “Piers Morgan.”

Although short-lived, Cole’s position as judge has earned her praise. After viewing a sample of the show ahead of its broadcast, fans and critics claim Cole greatly surpasses her replacement, Nicole Scherzinger.

“It’s a downgrade. Ms. Cole showed glimmers of being interesting,” The New York Times reported.

“Cowell has said he replaced Cole because she seemed ‘bewildered,’ but on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie accent,” reported the Los Angeles Times.

Also, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune reviewed Cole, writing that Scherzinger is not an “obvious improvement” to the British singer.

Actress Lisa Rinna expressed her opinion on Twitter, writing, “I understood every word Cheryl Cole said did you? I think she’s sweet, lovely and vulnerable all amazing qualities for a show like this.”

Viewer Kyle wrote, “I want Cheryl Cole back!”