The second night of Megyn Kelly’s two-part interview with the Duggar family featured in TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” delivered good ratings for Fox News Channel on Friday, though down from Wednesday’s opening installment.
According to Nielsen estimates, “The Kelly File” averaged 2.22 million viewers, including about 641,000 adults 25-54 — the show’s best-ever Friday tally in the key news demo. Compared to the show’s May averages in the same 9 p.m. hour, Friday’s “Kelly File” shot up by 136% in the demo (641,000 vs. 272,000) and by 41% in total viewers (2.22 million vs. 1.57 million).
“Kelly File” dominated among Friday’s cable news programs — beating its combined CNN-MSNBC-HLN competition by 117% in total viewers and by 193% in adults 25-54. It also stood as the night’s second most popular cable program overall, behind only Discovery’s “Alaskan Bush People.”
The Kelly sitdown was the No. 2 Friday program on Twitter, according to Nielsen Twitter TV ratings, with 11,000 tweets and over 1.3 million impressions for the night.
Friday’s interview, which was taped on Wednesday, featured Jessa Duggar Seewald and Jill Duggar Dillard, who said their brother Josh began inappropriately touching them before they were teenagers. They also said they believed that what happened to Josh’s victims was “very mild” compared to sexual molestation victims have experienced.
“I was one of the victims so I can speak out,” Seewald told Fox. “In Josh’s case, he was a boy, young boy in puberty, and a little too curious about girls and that got him into some trouble,” she said. “And he made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims. Most of it while girls were sleeping.”
Kelly’s interview with the Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, averaged 3.09 million viewers overall last Wednesday and was the night’s most-watched cable program. During the 9 o’clock hour in which “Kelly File” aired, Fox News Channel bested the combined CNN-MSNBC-HLN averages by more than 80% in both the demo and total viewers, according to Nielsen.
“19 Kids and Counting” was pulled from the air by TLC when news of the incidents broke, though it hasn’t been canceled by the network. The program, which was titled “17 Kids and Counting” when it bowed, established a series ratings high when 3.3 million tuned in for the show’s midseason return last September and then matched that when it kicked off its ninth season in February of this year. Its last episode to air (on May 19, two days before the 2006 police report was made public) drew 1.7 million, according to Nielsen estimates.