A month ago Megyn Kelly didn’t have a primetime gig, but now The Kelly File is the No. 2 show on cable news after The O’Reilly Factor. Since its October 7 launch with Fox News’ primetime revamp, the new show has averaged 2.23 million total viewers and 383,000 viewers among adults 25-54 in its 9 PM slot. That’s behind its Bill O’Reilly lead-in (2.84 million and 458,000) and in front of The Five (2.14 million and 369,000). No big surprise that after 141 months at No. 1 in total day and primetime among the cable news networks, FNC won the October ratings battle. Still, it did have nine of the top 10 shows on cable news, with only MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show breaking the monolith at No. 9. FNC also came in at the No. 3 behind TBS and ESPN in cable overall in primetime for the month. News rivals MSNBC, CNN and HLN were far behind at No. 22, No. 33 and No. 45, respectively. Overall, with 2.12 million watching, FNC had more viewers during its new 7-11 PM primetime than CNN (627,000), MSNBC (991,000) and HLN (247,000) put together.
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Looking at the ratings for 7 PM to 11 PM since its primetime relaunch versus Q3 2013, FNC is up 22% in total viewers (2.15 million) and 20% in the 25-54 demo (373,000). In primetime MSNBC saw a strong 59% viewership rise (to 976,000) and a 38% demo rise (237,000). After cratering earlier this year, the now-ratings-rebuilding NBCU-owned network certainly was helped this month by a series of well-received specials and docs plus the October 11 launch of the heavily promoted Up Late With Alec Baldwin. CNN saw a small bop of 7% in viewership (569,000) and 1% demo growth (171,000) when compared to Q3 2013. That’s in contrast to last October when all of the cable news networks saw viewership and demo surges with all-election-all-the-time coverage as the presidential race entered the final stretch. FNC actually was No. 1 in all of primetime cable. That once-every-four-years anomaly now has FNC, CNN and MSNBC and all down double digits from last October.