Megyn Kelly’s Primetime Debut Wins In Total Viewers

Positive signs for first rejiggered Fox News primetime lineup in more than a decade

Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” handily beat rivals in total viewers, an auspicious start for the network’s first new primetime program in more than a decade, as well as its host, Megyn Kelly.

According to early Nielsen totals, Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” lured nearly 2.1 million viewers between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m,. Monday evening, compared with 997,466 for MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” and 529,946 for CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” The figures could change slightly.

PHOTOS: Fox News’ Primetime Lineup

MSNBC’s “Maddow”  secured more viewers among audiences between 25 and 54 years of age, the demographic most coveted by advertisers in news programming. “Maddow” attracted 298,543 in the demo, according to Nielsen, compared with 289,264 for “Kelly” and 144,602 for “Piers Morgan.” Ad buyers have said they have come to expect the largest viewership for cable news from Fox News Channel.

“Kelly File” joins a Fox News Channel primetime lineup that has been rejiggered for only the fifth time in its 17-year history, as the network hopes to maintain its audience lead while testing new ways to deliver breaking news to viewers. Gone is the outlet’s traditional evening newscast in the form of a 7 p.m. program anchored by Shepard Smith. Sean Hannity and Greta van Susteren, both network stalwarts, have moved to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. , respectively, from 10 p.m. and 9 p.m.

PHOTOS: Faces of Fox News

The four-hour lineup of “On The Record with Greta van Susteren,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “The Kelly File” and “Hannity” brought in more viewers overall than the MSNBC and CNN lineups combined, according to the early Nielsen figures. Fox News Channel generated more than 2 million viewers, compared with 1,009,000 for MSNBC and 516,000 for CNN. Among viewers between 25 and 54, Fox News Channel attracted 329,000, while MSNBC attracted 314,000 and CNN generated 144,000.

The new four-hour lineup helped Fox News Channel increase total viewers by 15% and viewers between 25 and 54 by 6% compared to its performance in the third quarter of 2013, according to the Nielsen figures.

UPDATED: According to Nielsen, “The Kelly File” also surged in its key demo on Tuesday night.

PHOTOS: Top 10 TV Shows Based on Movies

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 289

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Rick B says:

    Glad to see her back I can watch her and understand her. oriely sucks never again .. hanity sometimes

  2. I only tuned in to see what was in her line up. I wasn’t impressed.

  3. The Chief says:

    About a million 25-54 are watching the baseball play-offs during the 5-11pm slot the fox numbers will double later in the month. It will be fun to watch the numbers turn at the end of the month.

  4. JoeB says:

    You said “rejiggered”.
    I’m offended.

  5. Megyn is going to kill it!! FOX NEWS RULES!!

  6. Dave says:

    It looks to me like only 20% of the 9pm-10pm cable news viewers are in the 25 to 54 age range. Maybe the advertisers should be looking at other channels during the 9pm to 10pm time slot…just a thought.

  7. BitterEXdemocrackkk says:

    ‘rejiggered’ (huh? isn’t that racist?)

  8. Joe Lucido says:

    Who would you rather look at Kelly or Maddow? If you picked the ladder, there is something wrong with you.

  9. jack n beanstalk says:

    “MSNBC’s “Maddow” secured more viewers among audiences between 25 and 54 years of age, the demographic most coveted by advertisers in news programming. “Maddow” attracted 298,543 in the demo, according to Nielsen,”

    so only one third of Maddow’s TOTAL viewers were in the most important demo? and an even lower percentage for Kelly? doesn’t make sense ????

    if we believe these numbers, most people who are watching either person is under 25 or over 54 …. I guess that could be true …. but I’m dubious

  10. Kelly Laraia says:

    Megyn Kelly has it all. Smart, tough and beautiful. She does better interviews that Hannity, although that isn’t saying too much. Maddow is smart but comes across as too angry. She just needs to chill a bit and increase her likeability to those that are not progressive left. Unless she is satisfied with her current audience.

  11. Mike says:

    Even Fox’s “The Five”, at a time when there is only a fraction of the viewers available, beats Maddow’s 9pm show!
    As for Morgan, what ar CNN thinking keeping him on board?

  12. SNOOPY JONES says:

    They gave her shawn hannity s audience.BIG DEAL–Fox has always beaten those other shows in that slot even with reruns.Fox is becoming CNN.

  13. DOBRO says:

    Why do you think they call it Fox? Megyn/ Rachael? Easy looking, easy listening vs ugly wicked mean and nasty. Forget Piers Morgan, he grates on my last nerve. A one dimensional puke fest. Oh yes, Megyn will own the night.

  14. Lucas Austin says:

    I love Richard Madcow.

  15. Tom says:

    She’s smart and very easy on the eyes.

  16. Larry Sinclair says:

    “lineup that has been rejiggered for only the fifth time in its 17-year history” – Suck on the CNN/MSNBC … In other words basic econimics

  17. jnobfan says:

    Megyn is the total package hardworking, smart, tenacious, funny and very easy on the eyes – why would we watch Racheal Madcow or Piercing Morgan when we can watch her?

  18. Meme says:

    Oh how this continued success of Fox News sticks in the craw of Liberals. Fox simply crushes their opposition and has become the most successful Cable News Network on TV.

  19. Ralph Gizzip says:

    Is it just me or is MSLSD funnier than Comedy Central in their “news” coverage?

  20. Bobby J says:

    Kelly vs Maddow? BAHAHAHAAHA!

  21. Alexis says:

    What a lot of ‘pig in a poke’ propaganda. Kelly in Prime Time is a joke. If it makes it to thru and the ’14 election cycle – it will be only because Ailes is using every steroid trick he knows to market her.

  22. johne2123 says:

    If you are not watching Fox news, you are not getting the news. The liberal media are either completely ignoring stories which make BO look bad or are so disguising them that you hardly know they are bad news or even make them look like good news

  23. I can’t believe that even 1/2 million people watch the lies, propaganda and government talking points that fox, msnbc, etc. spew out.
    They need to pack it up. The people have woken up.

  24. I like Kelly, she was a bit weird and hard on Senator Cruz. She treated him like a child. Hope she improves as Cruz is really a darling with most Americans these days. He’s honest and one smart Senator.

  25. Sammie Jo says:

    “SHE” wasn’t calling him that, that is what he’s being called by others.
    I hate that they did this switch, Greta is on in Sheps old spot, 6pm cst and shep is on in Megyn’s old spot, nope don’t like it at all. Now I have to find something else to watch@ 6, can’t stand greta at all, and tonight she had as her surprise caller, her friend, Kriss Khardashian Jenner. They talked about important stuff like, getting together for dinner. geez really?

  26. martin jones says:

    I don’t care to see her audition tapes, Or her baby pics. Give me some real news! Also return the five to 11 pm PT !!!

  27. According to a report this evening, a live mic recorded President Obama and Vice President Biden making fun of the new health care law. Hmm…. I wonder what tomorrow’s cable news stations will be talking about?

  28. bubba says:

    Wow, Fox News roles out the ‘ol blond NeoCon bimbo to explain the world to us. Thats a new trick.

  29. Mr.Bobo says:

    She seemed to backtrack on that comment tonight. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt

  30. Patty Regalia says:

    I loved it. She had the latest, breaking newsworthy lead. Didn’t talk over her guests and it was refreshing.

    • bubba says:

      Refreshing Faux Newz Neocon propaganda. Yea thats a new wrinkle. Fact is many so called conservatives are finally realizing that Faux News is just more propaganda for the right wing.

  31. What a class act! She is so smart and courteous. Mr. Oreilly should take due notice and he might (just might) quit talking over guest to the point that a viewer loses intent of the words. I’m sure, Megyn, you have a large audience out here in flyover country that wishes you every success. Incidentally, I
    think, whenever you inject something of a personal nature, it adds to the quality of your program.

  32. vito1936V says:

    THANK YOU GOD !!! Perfect Timing A Great Choice For The “The Kelly File” , It
    Will Go Places. The “MAD-OOO-LARK With Her Loud pipes blowing hot air political tales losing the viewers ratings will make “MY DAY” !!!

  33. tehrdbl says:

    No surprise regarding Kelly’s success.

  34. Flynn1926 says:

    They should have offered the 7 o’clock slot to Chris Wallace a more intense investigative report type program.

  35. Mr.Bobo says:

    Maddow’s a hack and a hag.The only wack jobs watching her-him are bulimic. They use it to induce vomiting. Almost all liberals are heinous looking.

  36. Megan, your just the best.

  37. Douger says:

    It’s all about appealing to a broader segment of viewers. More Independents and moderates view Fox versus MSNBC.

  38. Conservativethroughandthrough says:

    Good grief. Who cares what Kelly looks like. If that is the reason Kelly replaced Hannity, it is a sad commentary on our values in this country, and by reading these comments that is what most of you think. I watched Hannity at nine and I will continue to watch him at ten. I watch him because he is the only true conservative on the news. Kelly and O’Reilly are all about ratings, not about saving our country. I don’t know why Fox felt they had to replace Hannity with Kelly, but I do know that Kelly always appeared on O’Reilly and never on Hannity. I believe that O’Reilly despises Hannity because Hannity has a huge radio following and O’Reilly failed miserably at radio. I don’t think he ever got over it. Time will tell, but I think Hannity will be more populare because he is a true conservative and not a hack out for ratings. Plain and simple.

    • Phil says:

      O’Reilly is a phony. And very jealous of Rush Limbaugh. Not a fan at all.

      • Sammie Jo says:

        I watch Bill O every night and I have never seen him take shots at Hannity, rush, or Levin.
        I can’t stand Hannity, he’s just sooooo perfect and is always on the rag about something and throwing his religion into the mix. I don’t who or what you worship, if I’m watching you, I’m watching for current events not for you to tell me how religious you are.

      • Conservativethroughandthrough says:

        Yes, he is jealous of Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin. He takes shots at these three conservative men any chance he gets. I can’t watch him anymore. Just a rating’s hack.

  39. Walter Pinkman says:

    The older crowd seems to enjoy turning on the TV for their “stories”. They stumble upon Fox and couldn’t notice any difference. Or perhaps in their old age their is a much higher chance of them giving up the ghost while the TV is left on for several days before someone notices the smell.

  40. Rodrigo Valdez says:

    All the posters that comment on MSNBC having few viewers, but their hosts make millions, Chris Matthews makes four million a year. Where is the money coming from?

    The answer could be “cable bundling” where you pay for the package and every network in the package gets a slice whether you watch it or not. Would you pay $5 a month to watch MSNBC, if you had “a la carte” cable service?

  41. juscurious says:

    In the news business, it seems all the attractive women are conservative. Yes there are beautiful women who are liberal, but they are not in the news business. The examples are too numberous to list. There are exceptions to be sure, like Erin Burnett at CNN.

  42. Paul Hildebrandt says:

    Not at all surprising that Rachel beat Kelly. She may be crazy liberal, but she actually knows what she’s talking about.

    • Joeph Alagna says:

      The article I read said she had 2.1 million viewers and Rachel Madcow had about 1 million. That’s a ratio of over 2 to 1. You have to stop using Obama math, or at least read the same article.

    • Bruno Billings says:

      Delusionally blow 1 data point totally out of proportion…just like Maddow does.

    • Hmm, only a lefty would see a loss of over 100% and claim a win. See Paul, 2.1 MILLION is larger than 997,000. A lot larger. And yes rachel does know how to talk about being crazy.

    • Mitch Williams says:

      Yeah…..right. Rachel beat Megyn by 3% in one small demographic but got trounced by over 2 to 1 in the overall viewers. Better read the article again. In another month Maddow will be looking for work.

  43. Julienne says:

    Unfortunately, FOX News is the only News Network that will give us the facts and let us decide for ourselves. I used to be a CNN faithful, but I hate it when people just repeat the White House bullet points.

    • Walter Pinkman says:

      How does that make sense? If you have “the facts”, there should be very little room for opinion. Seems you just did your point a disservice by saying your news outlet of choice is giving you barely enough info to just as easily come to the wrong conclusion.

  44. juscurious says:

    It’s impossible to believe that Maddow can beat Kelly in the 25-54 demographic. Kelly is better and each and every way. Maddow is in no sense a journalist or even a commentator. She’s a Democratic hack, plain and simple. It too early to judge by just one day, but after a while Kelly will trounce Maddow, even in this demographic. Maddow will still have a following among the nutcases and the Generation X and Millennial Dunces.

  45. Taggert says:


  46. Taggert says:



  47. Taggert says:


  48. Dave says:

    She is a stunner to look at and very intelligent, but her first show last night was a little disappointing. She was a little too excited and giddy. Once she calms down a bit and gets more serious, she will be unbeatable.

    • juscurious says:

      If you think she’s good looking now, you should see what she looked like 10 years ago when she was Megyn Kendall. She was even better looking. She was as beautiful as any Hollywood actress and much smarter than any of them.

More TV News from Variety