Stars give Megyn Kelly the cold shoul­der af­ter her new show’s rocky start

In Touch (USA) - - Tvnews -

Jane Fonda wasn’t hav­ing it. When the ven­er­a­ble ac­tress sat down with Megyn Kelly on Sept. 27 to plug her new movie, Our Souls at Night, the for­mer Fox News an­chor asked the 79-year-old why she once said she wasn’t proud to ad­mit she’s had plas­tic surgery. Jane shot Megyn an icy glare and snapped, “We re­ally want to talk about that now?” Af­ter the seg­ment, In Touch has learned ex­clu­sively, Jane went straight to NBC’S top brass to com­plain about the Megyn Kelly To­day host. “She thought Megyn’s ques­tion was be­low the belt,” says an in­sider. In­deed, as Jane told In Touch at Net­flix’s Our Souls at Night pre­miere that night, “It was just a strange ques­tion.”

Ac­tress Sarah Michelle Gel­lar agrees. Af­ter the in­ter­view ran, she made it clear she’s on Team Jane. “So how come @meg­ynkelly didn’t ask @Robertred­fcrd if he had any plas­tic surgery??” a be­wil­dered Sarah tweeted. Sarah, 40, and Jane are far from Megyn’s only crit­ics. Since its pre­miere on Sept. 25, Megyn’s highly an­tic­i­pated talk show — a new ver­sion of To­day’s 9 a.m. hour, re­tooled ex­clu­sively for her — has been plagued with awk­ward mo­ments, ter­ri­ble re­views and back­lash from celebri­ties such as Jane and Will & Grace star De­bra Mess­ing. (“The de­but was like watch­ing a net­work try to as­sem­ble its own Bride of Franken­stein, us­ing parts of Ellen De­generes, Kelly Ripa and what­ever else it can find,” sniped The Wash­ing­ton Post.) Megyn, 46, re­port­edly turned down $25 million a year from Fox News to go to NBC, but “Hol­ly­wood hasn’t ex­actly put the wel­come mat out for her,” says a source. “Megyn has left a lot of peo­ple cold.”

She stum­bled out of the gate. On the in­au­gu­ral episode, Megyn — who’s moved out of her com­fort zone of cov­er­ing pol­i­tics — in­ter­viewed the Will & Grace cast, in­clud­ing De­bra, and asked a male su­per­fan on-air if he “be­came gay” from watch­ing the show. A harsh and swift back­lash fol­lowed. “Just get rid of that dumb [ bleeps] al­ready,” tweeted one of many an­gry view­ers. But the nas­ti­est burn came from De­bra, 49, her­self, who wrote on In­sta­gram that she was “dis­mayed” by the com­ments and im­plied NBC ba­si­cally mis­led her into ap­pear­ing: “The itin­er­ary just said To­day Show ap­pear­ance. Re­gret go­ing on.”

Get­ting A-list guests is prov­ing to be a prob­lem. “Megyn hasn’t been able to book any big-name stars that haven’t been on To­day dur­ing the first two hours,” the source says of the an­chor’s rocky start. It likely won’t get eas­ier if num­bers don’t im­prove. Even though the pre­miere rat­ings roughly tied its main ri­val, Live With Kelly and Ryan, they dipped in days fol­low­ing and fell be­hind. By Thurs­day, rat­ings dropped from her de­but of 2.93 million to 2.4 million. (Still, an NBC source in­sists, “She’s do­ing great.”)

One per­son who isn’t sur­prised Megyn is strug­gling: Matt Lauer. As In Touch pre­vi­ously re­ported, the co-an­chor of To­day, 59, has been crit­i­cal of the net­work’s de­ci­sion to make Megyn the show’s new­est star — and her rocky de­but hasn’t bro­ken his heart. He wants the show to suc­ceed, says the source, but from day one he’s never liked how her ad­di­tion to To­day has been han­dled. ◼

IF LOOKS COULD KILL Jane bris­tled when Megyn asked about cos­metic pro­ce­dures. “Jane was there to pro­mote her film and felt that Megyn tried a ‘gotcha’ ques­tion,” says a source.

SARAH STANDS BY JANE “Way to stay com­posed @Jane­fonda,” Sarah Michelle Gel­lar tweeted af­ter the in­ter­view. HARSH RE­VIEWS Guests who ap­peared on Megyn Kelly’s show “mostly stared and smiled at Kelly and tried to an­swer her dopey ques­tions,” a critic for The Wash­ing­ton

Post wrote. DUPED? A re­gret­ful De­bra wrote on In­sta­gram that she wasn’t aware her han­dlers had her ap­pear­ing on Megyn Kelly’s show “un­til that morn­ing.”

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