It's going to be Kelly vs. Kelly in the fall.
NBC News confirmed Monday that Megyn Kelly will host what is, or was, the third hour of the Today Show, putting her in direct competition with Live with Kelly, which is syndicated by ABC at 9 a.m. Eastern time in most areas of the country. Coincidentally or not, ABC announced that Ryan Seacrest would be Kelly Ripa's new co-host after trying out a slew of contenders.
Monday was Megyn Kelly's first day on the job as an NBC employee.
After much speculation about where in the morning Megyn Kelly would land pursuant to her new contract, NBC has yet to announce whether her show will still be part of the Today franchise or a separate program. Evidently, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will retain their 10 a.m. platform.
Perhaps this announcement will put to rest persistent rumors that Megyn Kelly is going to steamroll Today host Savannah Guthrie out of job.
Megyn Kelly ironically co-hosted Live with Kelly shortly after the Election 2016, and now they will be vying for the same audience.
"NBC News' decision to confirm this long-reported time slot today suggests it will let no Ripa news go unmatched with a headline of its own, speaking to the importance of the slot to the networks," Deadline Hollywood asserted.
"The scheduling suggests that both networks see the mid-morning — typically viewed as a time when many viewers have left their living rooms and gone to work — as a time slot with audience worth fighting for," Variety similarly explained about the 9 a.m. scheduling.
Despite a big-money contract on the table from the Murdoch family to continue as host of The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly, 46, famously left Fox News in January for the NBC gig, which also includes a Sunday night 60 Minutes-style news magazine, which premieres in June, along with network anchoring duties during big events.
"NBC News has yet to announce an executive producer for Kelly's morning show. NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said that the current staff on the 9 a.m. hour of Today will make up the core of Kelly's staff, though he did not rule out bringing in some people who worked with Kelly at Fox News," The Hollywood Reporter noted.Some Megyn Kelly critics contend that when the media star famously challenged Donald Trump during the August 2015 GOP presidential debate over his past disparaging comments about women ("only Rosie O'Donnell," the future president famously quipped), it was more about careerism and auditioning for another network — which turned out to be NBC — than a legitimate journalistic inquiry. That exchange prompted a long-running feud during the election campaign, although Kelly says that she and the president have since buried the hatchet.
Rumors previously circulated that Megyn Kelly might have an interview with Russian President Putin lined up, but she perhaps is settling for the Kardashians instead. "It's a taped interview so it's going to run either on her Sunday show, which starts in June, or her morning show, which starts in the fall. That doesn't necessarily mean this is going to be her first episode," an insider told the "Page Six" gossip section of the New York Post about the Kardashian sit-down.
It also would seem that filmmaker Oliver Stone got the Putin exclusive with his upcoming Showtime series The Putin Interviews.
"Kelly's debut on NBC News will be closely scrutinized. Many TV news insiders have wondered how she will adjust to broadcast daytime, a notoriously difficult daypart, after building a reputation as a tenacious interviewer during her time on Fox News," THR added about the Megyn Kelly 9 a.m. show.
Although DVRs may make it less of a viewer choice assuming there is overlap, who do think will come out ahead in the 9 a.m. rivalry when they are both live: Megyn Kelly or Kelly Ripa?
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]