Updated with video: NBCU has done virtually no promotion for Brian Williams’ return to the air after a months-long suspension and the ratings reflect that, but, as word of his return got out, some of it savage, his numbers inched up on Day 2.

NBC News chief Andy Lack has described Williams’ return, and his strategy to resuscitate ratings at MSNBC, as a long-term investment. Nonetheless, early stats are being combed over carefully as Williams attempts a difficult career comeback, not coincidentally coinciding with Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.

Wednesday, September 23, Williams anchored 3-5:50 PM and clocked nearly 600K viewers; 93K in the news demo. One day earlier, making his return to the air after a months-long suspension, Williams anchored 3-5 PM and clocked 526K viewers, 93K in the news demo. It’s hard to know how much of that increase is “Williams” and how much is “Pope Francis.” Wednesday from 9 AM to 6 PM ET marked MSNBC’s highest-rated day in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo since the day of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, June 26, 2015.

Williams anchored this morning from 9 AM-noon ET and resumed coverage today at 5 PM ET.