It’s Live! with Megyn Kelly.
NBC has confirmed that Kelly’s NBC morning show will launch Sept. 25. (Politico, the Washington-based politics website, was the first to report the news.) But of much greater interest: It will feature a studio audience as well.
For Kelly — who joined NBC in May from Fox News Channel — and especially NBC, a live audience at 9 a.m. offers rewards and risks. A live audience means two audience-based shows at 9 — the other (WABC/7’s “Live! With Kelly & Ryan” entrenched and still popular. It also means a radical departure for NBC at 9, for years an extension of “Today” that struggled to find an identity, audience and reason for being. NBC had earlier canceled the third hour of “Today,” so Kelly’s 9 a.m. venture will arrive under a new name, which has yet to be announced.
A live audience-based show also opens the door ever so slightly to another question: Will Kelly’s morning program feature a co-host? The majority of daytime talk series have traditionally had solo hosts, but the co-host (or multiple hosts) idea has long since drifted into favor because of the success of “Live! With Kelly & Ryan,” “The View,” “The Talk” and NBC’s “Today’s” fourth hour aka “Kathie Lee and Hoda.” Co-hosts not only take the burden off one another but also the opening impromptu “host chat” segments — pioneered by Regis Philbin and Gifford — are popular with viewers (as well as live audiences), and serve as icebreakers before the first guest.
And of those guests: In June, NBC named Jackie Levin executive producer of Kelly’s morning show, along with Chris Cataldi as co-executive producer. Noah Oppenheim, NBC News chief, said of Cataldi at the time, “She knows how to tell stories that connect and inspire, which will be particularly relevant in her new role.” Levin — whose appointment was first reported by the New York Post — is an NBC vet and heavy hitter in bookings.