An "awkward" Kardashian sit-down signals a shift away from politics after a summer ratings slide.
Last April, Megyn Kelly flew to Los Angeles for a sit-down with the Kardashian family, including matriarch Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian. The hook was the upcoming 10th anniversary of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kelly was only days on the job as NBC’s newest anchor, having passed up a $25 million offer from Fox News, where she built a reputation as a tenacious and fearless interviewer. The family would already be assembled for a sit-down the same day with pal Ryan Seacrest, whose production company produces the Kardashian franchise. But if the Kardashians expected an anodyne conversation rehashing 10 years of life in a reality TV fishbowl of their own making, what they got was a probing of their polarizing role in the culture. A source close to the Kardashians describes it as “awkward.”
Now, with Seacrest’s E! special scheduled to bow Sept. 24, Kelly's Karsdashian interview may air before the Sept. 25 premiere of her Today show hour, Megyn Kelly Today, says an NBC News source, though parts of it may still air on Kelly’s show. But the episode illustrates the challenge Kelly is navigating as she sets about broadening her image from the prosecutorial interlocutor that made her a star in the combative cable news arena to a self-deprecating working mom dealing with some of the same real-world issues as her morning TV audience.
Jackie Levin, executive producer of Megyn Kelly Today, positions Kelly's 9 a.m. show as an antidote of sorts to the ideological skirmishes of cable TV. "This is going to be where people can connect, where they can have a conversation," says Levin, a 23-year veteran of NBC News who has spent 11 years at Today. "Will the T-word be mentioned? Yes, from time to time," she adds, referring to President Trump, with whom Kelly tangled during the campaign. "But is it going to be on a regular basis? No."