Megyn Kelly’s interview with embattled “19 Kids and Counting” parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar scored a strong 3.1 million total viewers on Wednesday evening and was the top show across all of cable news for the entire day.
In the key 25-54 news demo, “The Kelly File” nabbed 866,000 viewers — the third-largest number in the show’s 20-month history. By both metrics it was Kelly’s most-watched newscast of the year.
For historical comparison, the highest-rated “Kelly File” episode ever aired on Nov. 24, 2014 — the first night of the Ferguson riots — when the program delivered a massive 7.3 million total viewers, with 2.2 million of them in the key demo.
Last night’s show was up 124 percent in the main demo and up 34 percent in total viewers versus the same day last week. And it crushed the competition, drubbing CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined by 87 percent in total viewers and by 82 percent among the 25-54 demo.
Kelly’s latest big “get” was also a hit on social media. “The Kelly File” ranked No. 2 on Twitter last night, according to Nielsen Twitter
The Duggar parents came on the Fox News show to defend their parenting, which has come under fire ever since son Josh admitted to inappropriately touching a number of underage girls — including a four of his sisters — when he was a teenager.
Below is the competition from last night’s 9 o’clock p.m. ET hour:
“The Kelly File” (Fox News): 3,091,000 total viewers; 866,000 25-54
Various Programming (CNN): 356,000 total viewers; 154,000 25-54
“Rachel Maddow” (MSNBC): 903,000 total viewers; 153,000 25-54