Megyn Kelly's new primetime show debuted on Monday night, and easily surpassed its rivals on MSNBC and CNN in total viewers. But Kelly lost in the category where Fox News most wanted her to win.
"The Kelly File" drew 2.066 million total viewers. That number beat the combined total viewers for both CNN's Piers Morgan (529,946) and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow (997,466).
Fox News came in second in the key demo, though. "The Kelly File" drew 289,264 viewers age 25-54. It was beaten by Rachel Maddow, who drew 298,543 viewers in the demo.
The results were consistent with Fox News' declining viewership in the demo, which is the ratings category networks and advertisers care about far more than any other. In August, Fox News posted its lowest demo ratings since August 2001. Kelly has been seen as a crucial part of the channel's strategy to attract younger viewers and women to primetime, and her failure to best Maddow on opening night is surely a disappointment for CEO Roger Ailes.