09/22/2011 12:46 pm ET | Updated Nov 22, 2011

'X Factor' Ratings Disappoint In Debut On Fox

Fox's "The X Factor," Simon Cowell's newest venture and the American counterpart to the hugely popular British singing competition, debuted to underwhelming ratings on Wednesday night.

The premiere of the new reality show got decent results, drawing 12.1 million total viewers and a 4.2 rating in the advertising-friendly 18-49 demographic. But in the 9 p.m. time slot, it fell behind ABC's "Modern Family, which delivered 14.3 million total viewers, and CBS' "Criminal Minds," which had 14.1 million total viewers.

"The X Factor" also drew about half the audience of the season 10 premiere of "American Idol," which drew 26 million total viewers. The new show, which reunites Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul as judges, has drawn numerous comparisons to Cowell's earlier smash hit.

Cowell exited "American Idol" in 2010, and proceeded to work on the American launch of "The X Factor." He expressed the utmost confidence in the new show, telling the Hollywood Reporter that drawing less than 20 million viewers would be a “disappointment.”