NBC was going to rake in the ratings with Megyn Kelly, or so they thought, but a rerun of America’s Funniest Home Videos did better in the ratings than she did after only her second week on her new show. Megyn Kelly’s Sunday night show pulled in 40 percent fewer viewers than her debut show did last Sunday did.
That is almost half of her audience from the week before, which result in crisis at NBC. She came in below America’s Funniest Home Videos in the two top groups of demographics that the TV shows vie for — total viewers and the coveted 18-49 age group, reports the Daily Mail.
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, which is the name of her NBC show, could be suffering in the aftermath of her controversial interview with Alex Jones, who is the leader of Infowars. Jones claims he has millions of followers, both listening to his broadcasts and reading what he has to say.
Jones harbors many bizarre and controversial theories, with his thoughts on the Sandy Hook massacre being one of his most controversial to date. He calls it a “false flag” event to gather support for stricter gun control measures. Needless to say, this is more than an insult to the many families who lost their children and loved ones that day. With most Americans standing behind these families, boycotts of the show were gaining popularity in the days leading up to that interview.
The interview was so controversial that many advertisers pulled their commercials from Kelly’s show, according to CNN. This was before the show aired, and at the time NBC claimed this was par for the course with controversial interviews. Basically, NBC conveyed that the advertisers would be back.
According to Page Six, NBC held “crisis meetings” about dealing with the backlash from this interview. This was before the interview aired, and they even contemplated pulling it at the time. The consensus of the meetings seemed to be that this is who Megyn Kelly is — she’s someone who stirs things up. NBC needed this to entice more viewers, but it looks as if this backfired for the network once the ratings came out this week.
The loss of viewers and the loss of interest in Megyn Kelly and her show might be something too deeply ingrained for Kelly to work herself out of. The problem is probably not the backlash from just this one interview. Kelly worked her way up as a big fish in the Fox News pond after a few years at the cable network.
Fox News viewers all knew her name, but if you weren’t drawn to that network for your news, you had no idea who Kelly was. Then along came Donald Trump and the first Republican debate hosted by Fox News, with Kelly at the helm as a moderator. The sparring between Trump and Kelly was of historical proportions after Kelly changed her approach when it came time to question Trump as compared to the way she handled the other candidates on stage.
Instead of asking Trump questions, she essentially threw out some disparaging remarks and asked Trump to respond to them. Trump, who was just one of many Republican candidates at the time, even said to Kelly from his podium that she wasn’t being very nice.
From this point on Kelly was a household name, and people tuned into Fox News just to see where they were (Trump and Kelly) in this back-and-forth battle that played out on Twitter and on Fox News. Before Trump went on to win the election, Kelly showed up at Trump Tower with an olive branch — or at least this is what it looked like at the time — and things seemed to cool down. It seems that Trump and Kelly had very little to do with each other after that.
Then Kelly’s contract at Fox News was up, and despite an unprecedented amount of money offered to her, she turned them down. While it is not known what NBC is paying Kelly, it is reportedly much less than the $100 million over five years in a contract that would have paid her a yearly salary of $20 million, which is what Fox offered Kelly to stay. Kelly remained off the air for months because she was still under contract with Fox, but she was no longer appearing on her Fox News show.
That hiatus was long for fans of Megyn Kelly, many of whom continued to watch Fox News and the birth of their next superstar, Tucker Carlson. Earlier this month, Kelly made her debut on NBC with an interview she scored with Vladimir Putin.
The news of this interview had an undercurrent of Trump about it. This was due to all the headlines blaring the Trump-Putin “fake news” at the time. She did pull in 6.1 million viewers for her debut with the Putin interview, but with the ratings tanking to the extent that they did this week, this is a fairly good indication that it is not Kelly the viewers are interested in.
It is looking more and more likely that Kelly’s rocketing career was ignited by Trump. Without him in her scope, it doesn’t appear that she has much of a chance at reviving the NBC News that the members of the top brass for that network were counting on. Her only chance might be to score an interview with Trump, but will that ever happen after the way NBC and Megyn Kelly have portrayed the new president in the past?
Not a soul would blame Trump if he wanted nothing to do with these folks, but this is a man who has shown he is not the enemy of the people as the anti-Trump folks seem to think he is. If he was asked to do an interview with Megyn Kelly and said “no,” that would be what most would expect. But Donald Trump doesn’t do what most people expect; he is a man who walks to the beat of his own drum. It is a very different drum, which makes him so likable with the masses. With that said, if NBC and Megyn gave it a shot, he might surprise them.
[Featured Image by Vladimir Smirnov/AP Images]