Congratulations, You Played Yourself: NBC’s Megyn Kelly Show Is A Mess Months After Tamron Hall’s Departure
If you’re a fan of morning news you’re probably familiar with journalist Tamron Hall’s abrupt departurefrom NBC’s Today Show, as well as the NBC and MSNBC networks earlier this year. The journalist made the decision to end her contract after the show decided to replace the third hour with a show starring controversial, former Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly.
Hall joined the Today Show in 2014, and for the past several years hosted the third hour of the show, Today’s Take, with co-anchors Al Roker, Willie Geist, meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and occasional celebrity guests. The third hour of morning news featured the hosts updating audiences on everything from hard news to engaging in entertaining banter about the latest celebrity gossip. It was no 20/20, but it was refreshing, light and the anchors seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
This past week, almost eight months after Hall’s exit, The Megyn Kelly Show awkwardly struggled through its first week and NBC is learning that being blonde and “beautiful” isn’t enough to keep viewers engaged. A little over a year ago, Today’s Take got me through five months of being laid off and I found myself genuinely chuckling at the host’s jokes on mornings that were the hardest for me when I was reminded I didn’t have anywhere to go while the hustle and bustle of school buses and morning traffic occurred right outside my window. This past Monday while combing my daughter’s hair before we headed out for the day, I saw Megyn Kelly excited talking about interviewing the Menendez brothers and learning about how they felt while killing their parents. An audience behind her cheered as she smiled in a very fake, plastic way. It was weird, and left me feeling uneasy. How did NBC ever think this was a good idea for morning TV?
The rest of the week wasn’t much better. Deadline reports compared to same day/same timeslot last year, Kelly was down 4% in overall audience, down 11% in the news demo and own 15% in female news-demo viewers who, for the most part, are the show’s target crowd. You could say Kelly is the victim of disgruntled Tamron Hall fans who feel like the replacement was an attack on diversity and representation for African-American journalists and female journalists that the show seemed to achieve a nice balance of. But the truth is, Kelly isn’t exactly helping herself. The show was filled with several awkward moments as critics were reminded exactly why Kelly may not be the best fit when it comes to likability.
Meanwhile Tamron Hall is unbothered as she preps for her new talk show, an untitled project with The Weinstein Company which she will not only host, but co-create and also serve as its executive producer. As for NBC, in the famous words of Tamar Braxton: You tried it.