NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly failed to see a major bump in the ratings Sunday despite the anchor’s much-hyped interview with InfoWars founder and radio host Alex Jones, falling again to a rerun of CBS’ long-running magazine show 60 Minutes.
The third episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly drew a 0.7 rating in the key news demo (25-54) and an average of 3.53 million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Those numbers were practically even with last week’s episode, in which Kelly interviewed Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, and down sharply from her June 4 debut episode, which featured an interview with Russian president Vladimir Puttin and drew 6.1 million viewers.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes drew an average of 5.31 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in the news demo, marking the third straight week the veteran news program has bested Kelly’s show in total viewers. Kelly also lost the time slot to a rerun of America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.7 rating, 3.7 million viewers) on ABC, while Fox led all networks with its coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, which drew an average of 6.09 million viewers and a 1.4 in the 18-49 demo.
Kelly’s interview with Jones sparked a firestorm both online and in the media this week, as critics called for NBC News to drop the interview due to Jones’ notorious positions on the September 11 terrorist attack and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. Relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook attack urged NBC to pull the plug on the interview so as not to allow Jones a larger platform for his views, while Kelly defended the segment, maintaining it had journalistic value.
Last week, the New York Post‘s Page Six reported that NBC was holding “crisis meetings” to determine how best to respond to the growing outrage over the Jones interview. The controversy escalated after Jones leaked a portion of a phone conversation with Kelly to his InfoWars website ahead of Sunday’s broadest. Kelly could heard on the tape assuring Jones the NBC segment was not going to be a “hit piece.”
Jones later leaked audio of the full interview online.
The 19-minute segment aired as scheduled Sunday night. It was not immediately clear to what extent the controversy over the Jones segment hurt the broadcast; Connecticut’s NBC News affiliate refused to air the program, citing community concerns.