L.A. Reid says Simon Cowell's goal of 20 million viewers for the new U.S. version of the "X Factor" was aspirational.

"That's a statement that Simon put out there and I think it was an aspirational statement," Reid, a judge on the show, told reporters Thursday. "And I hope that at some point we can get there. I'm not disappointed that we're not there."

Cowell had originally said that anything less than 20 million viewers for the show would be a disappointment. The show, which airs on Fox, has drawn an average of 12.2 million viewers since it premiered last month, compared to the average of 25.2 million who watched "American Idol" last season, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Hollywood Reporter said Reid considers the show to be very successful. "And whether we hit 20 or not -- I'd like to hit 30, I mean I'd like to sweep it -- but that's not really what's important to me."

The Wall Street Journal said the network has had to compensate advertisers with extra commercial time, which is a common practice when shows deliver lower-than-expected ratings.

"It's not a bad show. It's just not performing in line with such high expectations," media analyst Brad Adgate told the newspaper.