The death of the Simon Cowell formatted talent show has been greatly exaggerated is seems, as The X Factor is showing signs of recovery after declining in ratings since 2010.
Three weekends and six shows into the tenth series, and the ITV talent behemoth is averaging a very healthy 9.3 million viewers per episode, an increase of 800,000 (or 9% for maths lovers) per show compared with 2012.
Consolidated data also shows that in the first weekend that both Strictly and X Factor were screened on the same night, X Factor managed to pull in 9.6m viewers for its audition programme, and Strictly was just shy with 9.5m, albeit at a slightly earlier time. So expect a few more petty skirmishes and scheduling silliness between the big two in the lead up to Christmas.
The X Factor ratings seemed to have been helped by the return of no-nonsense Sharon Osbourne to the judging panel, and the move for audition shows to be screened on both Saturday and Sunday nights from the very off. Several episodes of Corrie pre-X Factor on the first few Sunday nights certainly won’t have hindered the show either.
The show’s ratings boom will be a welcome boost for ITV's top dogs who rely on the big ad haul it brings in. In recent years viewers have declined from an average of 14.1m for the 2010 series, to just 9.6m for last year’s series, which saw James Arthur lift the talent show crown.
But with ratings dynamite Downton Abbey back for eight weeks from next Sunday and The X Factor beginning to hit form, ITV will be hoping the last few years were just a blip, and their undisputed control of the Sunday night schedules will soon be regained.