‘Megyn Kelly Today’ Ties ‘Live’ in Premiere

NBC’s new daytime talker,Megyn Kelly Today, tied Disney-ABC’s syndicated Live With Kelly and Ryan, in its Sept. 25 premiere with both shows averaging a 2.2 rating/8 share in households across 56 metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In many markets, the two shows air against each other at 9 a.m., although that doesn’t hold true across the entire country since the syndicated Live airs in different time periods in different markets.

Live outrated Megyn Kelly in the top four markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia — where the two shows go head to head. In New York, Live on WABC topped Megyn Kelly Today on WNBC by 21% with Live hitting a 2.3/8 and Megyn doing a 1.9/7, although CBS Television Distribution's Hot Bench on WCBS won the time period with a 2.9/11.

In viewers, Megyn Kelly Today averaged 2.93 million on day one, up 12% from the time period in the prior week, according to Nielsen's fast national ratings.

Megyn Kelly Today premiered on NBC sandwiched between the 7 to 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours of Today. On day one, Kelly welcomed the cast of NBC’s Will & Grace reboot. On day two, Kelly hosted the cast of NBC’s hit show, This Is Us, which debuts its second season on Tuesday night.

In her opening-day monologue, Kelly said she was “kind of done with politics for now,” and instead wanted to focus on subjects that were uplifting, hopeful, inspirational and fun.

Kelly's star was on the rise at Fox News but things got stressful during the 2016 presidential campaign, with then Republican candidate Donald Trump taking on Kelly directly, and Kelly decided she wanted to make a change. Last winter, she signed on with NBC News at a reported $17 million annual salary. Over the summer, the network aired a Sunday night news magazine featuring the former Fox News anchor. Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly started strong with an interview with enigmatic Russian President Vladimir Putin, but ratings slid over the weeks until the network ended up pulling the program two weeks before it was originally scheduled to end.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997 - September 2002.