Cowell regrets lofty 'X-Factor' ratings wish

04 October 2011 - 10:33 By Sapa-AP

Simon Cowell admits he regrets saying ratings less than 20 million for the US version of The X Factor would be a failure.

The show's September debut earned 12.5 million viewers, which was less than the premiere of the comedy Modern Family, the leader of the night with 14.5 million viewers. The X Factor held those numbers for the second episode. In week two, ratings hovered around 12 million an episode.

Cowell says he's now "back in the real world" and is comfortable letting the show "grow naturally."

Regarding competition with other talent shows such as American Idol and The Voice, Cowell says he gets "excited" by it.

The show airs Wednesday and Thursday nights on Fox.