Having reportedly left Fox News to bring more joy to her life, Megyn Kelly will debut her new talk show at 9 a.m. EDT on Monday. The show will compete with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s “Live!”– which is on at the same time for most of the country.
Kelly’s Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer got terrible ratings, and it was cut short in terms of how many episodes launched. Her original programming came in lower than repeats of 60-Minutes on some weekends.
Featured in the lucrative morning market, her new daily talk show is expected to be the deciding factor in how the host’s career fares at NBC News, and she promises the live-broadcast “Megyn Kelly Today” will be an informative and fun hour for viewers.
“It will be very similar to the ‘Today’ show, but we’re going to have a lot more elbow room,” she said in an interview.
“I don’t want to talk about Trump all day,” she said. “In fact, the bar is very high for Trump coverage (on ‘Megyn Kelly Live’). If you want Trump, you can watch virtually every channel in the country and get Trump non-stop. I think people are looking for a break from that. Not just Trump, it’s inside the Beltway. I don’t want to talk about Mitch McConnell either, or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.”
Kelly said her program will be uplifting and more substantive than “Live! With Kelly and Ryan,” which is a celebrity- and entertainment-oriented talk show. Recent trial runs of Kelly’s new talk show featured segments on reacting to the Equifax breach and protecting yourself from attack. Mental health, bullying, coping with divorce and tips for job interviews are the types of topics she will cover.
There won’t be news, but she promises it won’t be fluff, either.
Bill Carroll, a consultant and expert on the daytime TV market, warned that trying to imitate the longstanding formula of “Live!” would not be wise.
“She faces the challenge that every new program has,” he said. “Everyone is going to be looking to see if the show maintains the momentum of the ‘Today’ show.” Name recognition, a consistent time slot across the country that makes the show easier to promote, and affiliation with the well-established “Today” brand gives Kelly some advantages.
A few blocks uptown in Manhattan, veteran “Live!” producer Michael Gelman said he’s not worried that Kelly will displace his show’s viewership. “I’m not being dismissive, but I don’t really think that much about the competition,” he said.
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