Just three weeks into her new Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly program, Megyn Kelly’s “star is dimmer than ever,” according to television industry publication Variety.
Television critic Sonia Saraiya notes, in a piece titled, “NBC’s Megyn Kelly Problem,” that since Kelly left Fox News in January for NBC, “whatever high-wattage star power she had has waned considerably” and “by all measures, her ‘Sunday Night’ effort has been a disaster.”
She points out many of Kelly’s flaws that were obvious to many except for NBC executives who may have chosen to overlook them because she seemed like a “sensible” Republican when Kelly attacked Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
“Kelly has never emphasized intimacy or likability in her on-camera persona. Her style is legalistic and cool, with a brass-tacks elegance that can, at best, appear regal,” Saraiya observes.
Saraiya asks the $17 million question, “So what is Megyn Kelly good at?”
“On NBC, Kelly is didactic without being trustworthy; patronizing without being impressive. Her voiceover suggests doom without really proving it; there’s a scare-mongering side to her reportage,” she continues.
Saraiya also points out that if Kelly’s move to NBC “was both an attempt to cement her brand and a network gambit to draw” in more right-of-center viewers, “it has failed on both counts.”
As Breitbart News has noted, Kelly was resoundingly mocked for being out of her league while interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin and was ridiculed even more when HuffPost obtained the full, unedited interview in which a “nervous” Kelly lobs “softballs” at Putin and seems out of place.
The debut of her Sunday show lost to a rerun of 60 Minutes, and it has been downhill for Kelly since. Her second show lost to reruns of 60 Minutes and America’s Funniest Home Videos. Her third show that featured her controversial interview with Alex Jones was her lowest-rated show yet, drawing a measly 3.5 million viewers and losing again to reruns of 60 Minutes and America’s Funniest Home videos. As Breitbart News wrote, controversy creates cash and ratings—unless you are Kelly.
A network executive told CNN last week that NBC’s “fundamental mistake” was thinking that Kelly was a “superstar.”
“It may be worth going back to the drawing board entirely with Megyn Kelly — to evaluate her strengths not just by what she is or isn’t, but rather by what she can actually do,” Saraiya notes.
Saraiya also suggests that Kelly’s insistence that “Santa is white” may be toxic for NBC when Kelly hosts her daily one-hour show in the fall. Kelly’s “history of cringeworthy statements about black people” may come back to bite her “in a timeslot that happens to draw a large African-American female audience,” she notes, citing some potentially ominous data for Kelly and NBC:
According to Nielsen data for the 2015-16 season, African-American women comprised 23.1% of the total TV audience in the (nearly synchronous) 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. time frame, making them the largest component of the daytime viewership base, ahead of white (16.3%), Hispanic (12.6%) and Asian (7.6%) women.
On Monday, New York radio host Mark Simone tweeted that NBC is looking for ways to unload Kelly and her terrible contract like the Los Angeles Lakers are trying unload Timofey Mozgov’s and Luol Deng’s horrendous contracts. He even said that NBC may be looking to ask Fox News to take her back.
But a high-ranking Fox News source told Breitbart News that there was “no way” that would happen because Kelly “would not be welcomed back” at the network.
“It may be worth going back to the drawing board entirely with Megyn Kelly — to evaluate her strengths not just by what she is or isn’t, but rather by what she can actually do,” Saraiya writes, noting that “it already feels like” Kelly “has overstayed her welcome” at NBC.