Fox's "Utopia" bowed on Sunday night to just 4.6 million viewers, according to initial numbers, a mediocre start for the heavily promoted reality series.
Among the all-important 18-to-49 demographic, "Utopia" pulled a 1.9 rating. A ratings point is equivalent to 1% of total TV households.
While it had a lead-in from Fox's Sunday NFL matchup, "Utopia" was up against "Sunday Night Football" on NBC, which was watched by an estimated 21.2 million people. "Utopia" also had competition for reality fans, going up against CBS's "Big Brother," which was watched by 7.1 million viewers and drew a 2.3 rating in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic.
"Utopia" is essentially replacing the defunct U.S. edition of "The X-Factor" as Fox's core reality program for the fall. By comparison, the premiere of what would be the final season of "The X-Factor" on Fox bowed on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, to 6.2 million viewers.
In what Fox is calling a social experiment, "Utopia" brings together 15 strangers to build a new society from scratch. What makes the show unique is that it will air in some capacity 24/7 for a year. The cast will be monitored constantly, with a live stream available.
Fox began live-streaming the cast last week in the lead-up to the premiere, generating more than 1 million streams in the first four days, according to the network.
Fox will air two additional new episode of the show this week on Tuesday and Friday.