Simon Cowell may well be tearing his lusciously coiffured hair out today, as t opening episode of The X Factor suffered a ratings shocker, with viewers down an incredible 2.7m from last year's opener.
According to The Metro the show, which featured highlights from auditions in London and Manchester and guest judge Mel B, scored a peak audience of only 9.2m, below last year's average figure of 10.8m.
Early estimates suggest a figure of 8.1m viewers, a whacking drop from last year, and an even bigger one from 2010's 12m.
The show was even beaten in the ratings by the opening episodes of The Voice and Britain's Got Talent, which scored peak audiences of 8.7m and 9.6m respectively when they began on the same March evening.
No doubt Simon is in his lair furious and planning to get viewers loving the show again, the Blofeld of karaoke has reportedly already pulled off a coup by signing up Britain's Olympic heroes for a special episode next month.
Not that we're Simon Cowell is a bond villain, just that we can imagine him sitting in a swivel chair stroking Louis Walsh and plotting after this setback to raise the show.
He certainly needs to, as three years of dropping viewing figures is the start of a worrying trend for the music mogul.
PHOTOS: The X Factor judges