X Factor’s return saw it dominate Saturday night’s television, with 43% of the viewing public tuning into its launch episode on ITV.
An average 9.3 million people watched the opening episode, which saw the return of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell to the judging panel.
This was up slightly on the 9.2 million who watched last year’s launch episode.
Former Spice Girl Mel B made her debut as a judge, having filled the same role on the Australian version.
At its peak, 9.8 million were watching as the hopeful singers tried, and often failed, to impress the judges.
The second most watched programme of the night was Doctor Who on BBC One, which had an average of 5.2 million viewers. This was down more than two million on last week’s episode, which was Peter Capaldi’s full debut in the title role.
Simon Cowell returned to chair the X Factor judges, taking over from Gary Barlow, having launched the show back in 2004. He quit being in front of the camera in the UK in 2010 to spearhead X Factor USA, which ran for three seasons until it was axed this year.
The return of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday will see the two Saturday night big hitters go up against each other after several years of avoiding such a clash.
Strictly will go out from 20:00-21:15, while X Factor airs from 20:00-21:05.
The BBC said the overlap was unavoidable because it had scheduled Strictly to avoid clashing with an extra edition of Coronation Street.
Cowell criticised the BBC’s decision, saying it would only hurt the viewers.
Source:: BBC Entertainment