Megyn Kelly was her own ruin. The former Fox News host has no one to blame for the failure of her Sunday night news magazine show but herself.
Last week, Kelly received the bad news that her new NBC offering, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, will be taken off the air early due to disastrous ratings. Kelly’s fate was sealed this week. Deadline reports that last week’s season finale of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly was surpassed by reruns of NBC’s Dateline aired last Sunday.
Kelly’s news magazine style show was originally scheduled for a 10-episode limited summer run. However, NBC canceled the run after only eight episodes due to an underwhelming performance, according to Breitbart.
The season finale of Sunday Night featured an interview with British comedian Ricky Gervais and was watched by only 3.5 million people, scoring a meager 0.5 rating in the key 18 – 49-year-old viewer demographic. The following week, NBC aired a rerun of Dateline in the same 7 PM Sunday night time slot.
The Dateline rerun drew an audience of 4 million viewers and received a rating of 0.6. This reveals that Kelly’s poor viewership was not a matter of the time slot or the news magazine format of the show, but rather Kelly, who is responsible for the NBC failure.
This is not the first time that Kelly was beaten by reruns of NBC’s original news magazine show, Dateline. A Dateline rerun outperformed the last three weeks of original episodes of Sunday Night when the new show enjoyed a week off for the extended Fourth of July weekend.
However, NBC is not deterred. The network is dedicated to generating a return on the $17 million contract they signed with Kelly to steal her from Fox News. NBC explains that the cancellation of Sunday Night will offer the news anchor the time she “needs to be freed up to focus” on her other roles at NBC.
NBC didn’t just buy a failing Sunday night show for $17 million, but also a daily morning show offering and special event coverage from Kelly. Now, the network is desperately prepping Kelly for her role as the host of the third hour of the Today show now ominously named Megyn Kelly Today. This is the final test for Kelly’s career.
Before the launch of her primetime show, an executive from a rival network told CNN Money that “daytime is a huge gamble and the whole thing unravels if it fails.” Adding, “The verdict will be in very fast in daytime and very fast in prime time.” But if the show fails “she could end up fading into obscurity.”
Well, the verdict is in for Kelly’s primetime show. The success of Megyn Kelly Today is the only thing standing between Kelly and a complete end to her TV career.