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'X Factor' USA exec: 'I'm relieved with premiere ratings'

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The X Factor USA extended preview still
Fox reality chief Mike Darnell has expressed his "relief" over The X Factor USA's premiere episode's ratings.

Despite losing out to ABC's Modern Family in the ratings and scoring a lower-than-expected 12.2m viewers, Darnell insisted that he is pleased with the numbers.

Simon Cowell recently revealed that he intended to "take down" rival show American Idol, but the premiere episode fell short of his former show's season opener ratings of 21.6m viewers.

Darnell dismissed the judge's comments as "Simon's showmanship, something you've got to love him for".

Darnell told Deadline: "We lived with the reality that there is an enormous interest in every show during premiere week, and honestly, we're just relieved this morning. Other than crazy expectations, this is a very good premiere."

He added that he hopes the series will climb in the ratings as the season goes on. "Hopefully, like many reality shows do during their run, I think X Factor has a real shot at building [in the ratings]".

> The X Factor USA: What are the critics saying?
> The X Factor USA: The five best auditions - video


Watch Chris Rene's audition from the premiere episode below:

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