TV Ratings: Megyn Kelly, Against NBA Finals, Pulls OK Numbers in NBC Debut

The telecast nets a modestly better audience than 'Dateline' typically sees in the slot, as '60 Minutes' draws a bigger crowd.
Screengrab/Courtesy of NBC News

The Golden State Warriors may be Sunday's biggest winner, notching their second NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC, but the biggest development took place on another network.

Almost six months to the day since she abruptly left Fox News for NBC, Megyn Kelly made her official network debut. The first outing of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly averaged 6.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49. (In the news demo of adults 25-54, she scored a 1.2 rating.)

The easiest barometer for NBC would be for Kelly to outperform Dateline. And, among total viewers, she accomplished that out of the gate — drawing more than 1 million more that Dateline's Sunday same-day average. But in the demos, the show saw no real change. Dateline Sunday averaged 4.9 million viewers and a 0.8 rating during the recently closed broadcast season.

It was a big swing for Kelly, who also gets a daily daytime NBC News vehicle in the fall. The premiere featured a much-hyped interview between Kelly and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sunday Night is obviously being positioned as a 60 Minutes rival, but the venerable CBS series retained at least one advantage. Though the 49-year-old series, often one of the 10 most watched series on the Big Four, lost the demo, it did win among total viewers. Sunday's 60 Minutes averaged 6.6 million viewers and a 0.6 rating in the demo.

What proved even more formidable at 7 p.m. was Jimmy Kimmel. Before the NBA Finals, his special Game Night scored big time in both the demo and total viewers — tracking for a time slot win among adults 18-49, at least, before time zone adjustments.

Overall, ABC easily topped all networks on Sunday. The second game of the NBA Finals averaged 19.7 million viewers and a 7.1 rating among adults 18-49, each number a jump from the comparable game last year. Earlier, preliminary numbers gave the game a 12.7 overnight rating among households. That's up 7 percent from the comparable game a year ago, despite another lopsided score that saw the Warriors walk away with their second win.

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