Megyn Kelly’s new NBC newsmagazine program premiered to modest ratings Sunday night, as it came in third place in total viewership in primetime behind Game 2 of the NBA Finals and a rerun of CBS’s 60 Minutes, though it did top the long-running CBS news show in the key demographic.
According to Variety, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly drew 6.1 million viewers in its 7 p.m. time slot, behind 60 Minutes‘ 6.6 million viewers. Both news programs lost handily to ABC’s broadcast of the NBA Finals Game 2 matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, which drew an average of around 15.5 million viewers.
The Warriors’ victory over the Cavs also unsurprisingly led in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, drawing a 5.7 rating; Kelly’s show came in second with a 0.8, while CBS’s rerun of 60 Minutes drew a 0.6.
Overall, NBC finished third on the night in total viewers with an average of 4.7 million, but second in the demo, with an average 1.0 rating. ABC blew away all competition with its NBA coverage, while Fox and CBS came in third and fourth in the demo, respectively.
Kelly — the former Fox News star who departed for NBC in January — promoted a high-profile interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin to help kick off her Sunday night show.
Critical reception to the interview was mixed, though the exchange between Kelly and Putin could be fairly described as contentious; when Kelly asked whether Putin might have compromising information on U.S. President Donald Trump, the Russian president asked: “Have you all lost your senses over there?”
For her part, Kelly said in an interview with TV Insider last month that her new show was not trying to compete with 60 Minutes.
“They’ve been doing it for 50 years, and it’s a hugely rated show not just in news but in all of television,” Kelly told the outlet. “Our goal is not to beat 60 Minutes. It’s to do great journalism in a way that’s compelling and dynamic. Our show looks and feels a little different from what’s been seen before. You’ll see some pieces that are a little more cutting edge and more irreverent.”
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly will run through the summer until NBC’s Sunday Night Football premieres in September. The show will return in February after the network ends its coverage of the Winter Olympics. In the off time, Kelly will debut another show at NBC, a morning news show that will immediately follow the network’s top-rated Today.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum