Network interviews such as Diane Sawyer‘s recent special with Bruce Jenner are often filmed weeks or months before they air. When Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly landed the first post-scandal interview with the Duggar family, she only had four days to prepare.
Her hard work paid off, as The Kelly File averaged 3.1 million total viewers and 866,000 in the key A 25-54 demo, making it the most-watched cable news program of the evening. The interview was Kelly’s third biggest demo since the program launched in 2013.
Her biggest audience came during the Ferguson riots, when the program delivered 7.3 million in total viewers and 2.2 million in demo. The Duggar interview was also the highest-rated telecast in all of cable yesterday during every hour of the day.
Kelly conducted the interview in Arkansas Wednesday afternoon, hopped on a plane and was back in her New York City studio just in time for the show at 9 p.m. ET. It appears she didn’t even have time for a wardrobe change during the jam-packed day, as she’s wearing the same red outfit.
Fox News editors were working on the interview until minutes before it aired and continued to make tweaks during the show. Kelly has been praised by numerous media outlets for asking the Duggars tough questions and digging for answers.
Kelly also had a big night on social media, finishing as the No. 2 most-talked about show on Twitter behind only an NFL Network special, according to Nielsen. #DuggarInterview was a trending topic for the hour and the interview generated more than 17,000 tweets with approximately 2.2 million impressions.
An extended version of the interview will air on Friday, which features Jessa Seewald and her sister Jill Dillard defending their brother.