The new series of The X Factor has pulled in the lowest ratings since the show first launched in 2004.
An average of 5.7 million people tuned in to see the 15th series of Simon Cowell’s talent show, compared to 6 million tuning in to last year’s series, reports the Daily Mirror.
4.9 million people watched the first ever episode back in 2004, however Saturday night’s show was still the highest-viewed programme in its slot.
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The drop comes despite the introduction of a brand new judging panel for this series, including One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and Williams’ wife Ayda Field joining Cowell.
Sharon Osbourne will re-join the panel for the lives shows, the first time that there has been five judges in the show’s history.
ITV’s boss Kevin Lygo recently defended The X Factor’s diminishing audience during a talk at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
“X Factor, more than any other show, it’s been running a long time, ratings have been going down a bit, but it’s still… the idea that you could launch a new show today that is as big as X Factor is now, I mean, our job is to keep it young, keep it good, keep it fresh,” he said.
On average, the show’s last series received the lowest number of viewers of any other, with an average of 6.3 million tuning in per episode, while only 5.8 million watched the final.
This compares to 17.7 million watching the final when Matt Cardle won the seventh series in 2010.
The show peaked that same year, when an average of 14 million watched each show.