The one-hour shows, which launch early next year, will be similar to the Barbara Walters interviews with world leaders and celebrities that turned the iconic journalist into a mega-star for ABC in the ’80s and ’90s.
Kelly’s specials will focus on newsmakers in politics, sports and Hollywood. Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes intends to build each hour around a single sponsor. “Listen, Megyn is so good today that there is no interview I would not want her to do,” Ailes tells Variety.
Kellly’s interview with Joe Bob and Michelle Duggar, which aired during the anchor’s primetime evening show “The Kelly Files” in early June, scored 3.1 million viewers. And as Kelly told Variety in this week’s cover story, she’s interested in doing more longform journalism, as a lifelong fan of “Oprah.”
Among those Kelly would love to sit down with? “I think Hillary Clinton could handle me — easily,” Kelly told Variety.
“That would be epic television,” she said. “Here she is, this powerful woman talking to somebody who is also a woman in a powerful post, who would never be accused of giving her a pass. Right? But I respect Hillary Clinton, and all that she’s achieved.”
Kelly makes the case that she’d be fair. “I’d be under pressure, too. If you want to get big-name Democrats who are running for president, do you want to annihilate them? Of course not.”
Also on her wish list: Caitlyn Jenner, who has yet to give an interview as a woman, and Kim Kardashian-West.
“I want to know if she’s a force for good or evil,” Kelly says of the queen of selfies. “I had someone make the argument that she’s voluptuous, and maybe sending the message to young girls that you don’t have to be a stick figure to be desirable. But I see the other argument too — it’s all enhanced. And you send the message that you need to surgically alter yourself to the point of shocking to be attractive to men.”
For more about Kelly, read this week’s Variety cover story.