NEW YORK (AP) — In his first week, Tucker Carlson moved seamlessly into Megyn Kelly's time slot at Fox News Channel without skipping a beat in the ratings.
Carlson averaged just under 3 million viewers for his first week of shows in Fox's prime-time lineup, or 10 percent more than the 2.72 million viewers that Kelly averaged all of last year, the Nielsen company said.
Fox's numbers are strong in general as many of its viewers eagerly await the start of the Trump administration. Carlson's lead-in, Bill O'Reilly, averaged 3.5 million last week, or 7 percent more than what he averaged last year. Sean Hannity, Fox's other prime-time personality, was up 16 percent last week in the same measurement, Nielsen said.
Kelly announced on Jan. 3 that she was leaving Fox News Channel for a new job at NBC News, where she will host a daytime hour that hasn't been defined yet, a once-weekly newsmagazine and participate in political coverage. Her start date at NBC hasn't been determined.
Carlson, who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, earned his shot at Fox's prime-time lineup by doing well as a replacement for Greta Van Susteren earlier in the evening on Fox. Van Susteren has now taken a job at MSNBC.
Football dominated television last week, with the Pittsburgh Steelers' NFL playoff win in Kansas City seen by 37.1 million viewers and Clemson's late victory over Alabama for the NCAA championship reaching 24.4 million.
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 10.3 million viewers. NBC had 9.1 million, Fox had 7.6 million, ABC had 4.7 million, Univision had 1.9 million, Telemundo had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 900,000.
With college football's premier game, ESPN led the cable networks with a prime-time average of 3.97 million. Fox News Channel had 2.48 million, USA had 1.62 million, HGTV had 1.6 million and TBS had 1.38 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.6 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 9.2 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.6 million viewers.
For the week of Jan. 9-15, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Playoffs: Pittsburgh at Kansas City, NBC, 37.11 million; NFL Playoffs: Houston at New England, CBS, 29.82 million; NFL Playoffs: Green Bay at Dallas, Fox, 28.86 million; College Football Championship: Clemson vs. Alabama, ESPN, 24.42 million; "NFL Pre-Game," NBC, 23.08 million. College Football Championship Pre-Game," ESPN, 14.48 million; "NFL Post-Game," Fox, 13.95 million; "This is Us," NBC, 10.48 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 10.475 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 10.26 million.
ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.