Kelly’s program averaged 413,000 viewers, compared to 402,000 for O’Reilly, knocking him from his normal number one primetime perch at the network, if just for one week.
The Kelly File launched last September and quickly gained a following, helping Fox News increase its dominance in primetime over also-rans MSNBC and CNN.
The only other time Kelly beat O’Reilly was for the week of May 5, 2014, when he was on vacation. This is the first time she has done so when both were on the air in the same week.
O’Reilly still topped Kelly in total viewers, but it’s clear that the fast-rising Fox News star is nipping at O’Reilly’s heels, and could supplant him as the network’s top-rated anchor in the not too distant future.