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'X Factor' finale ratings give Fox early Christmas gift

December 23, 2011 |  1:47 pm

"The X Factor" had its finale Thursday night, and while the ratings didn't rise to "American Idol"-like records, the show ended its season on a high note for Fox. (Spoilers follow, so stop reading if you haven't watched the episode yet on your DVR.)

A total of 12.4 million viewers tuned in to see Melanie Amaro crowned the winner over runner-up Josh Krajcik. That amounted to Fox's most-watched entertainment programming since premiere week, according to Nielsen. Hitmakers such as Pitbull and Justin Bieber also performed.

The tally easily bested NBC's finale for "The Voice," which drew 11 million. "The Voice" will return to NBC's schedule early next year.

Overall, Simon Cowell's "X Factor" is the No. 1 new unscripted show on TV so far this season.

How big of an impact has the show had? It has boosted Fox's Wednesday ratings by 48% -- and on Thursdays, its numbers have zoomed by 46%. Fox was No. 1 on Thursdays in the key category of adults age 18 to 49 for the first time in its history.

What did you think of the finale?


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Photo: "The X Factor" finale delivered big numbers for Fox on Thursday. Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox.