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Fox News Channel’s ‘The Five’ Turns Two, Moves Up to No. 2

Afternoon panel talkshow has successfully filled the gap left by Glenn Beck's former show

The five Fox News

As Fox News Channel’s “The Five” turns two today, it has some ratings news to help stoke the celebration.

The late-afternoon talkshow, on which five panelists examine the top news, controversies and issues of the day,  is now averaging more than 2 million viewers daily and has become the No. 2 cable news program, behind only the net’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

At a time when young programs on competitors CNN and MSNBC have had difficulty getting much traction, “The Five” has seen its audience spike post-launch. According to Nielsen, the show’s average daily audience for the first six months of 2013 (2,096,000) was more than 50% higher than that for its early weeks in launch.

“The Five” took over the 5 p.m. ET slot formerly held by Glenn Beck, whose afternoon show was very popular at one point but ultimately became a tough one for Fox to sell to advertisers. That has not been a problem with “The Five,” whose roundtable, “The View”-like format has been well received from the start.

Because it airs earlier in the day, and when many younger adults aren’t available to watch, “The Five” skews a bit older than the network’s primetime programs. As a result, while it was up 25% overall in the first half of this year compared to last, it was basically flat in adults 25-54 (where it averages 339,000) and is cable news’ No. 3 daily news program in this category (behind FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity”).

In total viewers, “The Five” beats the combined averages in the 5 p.m. hour of CNN, MSNBC, HLN and CNBC, according to Nielsen. And in adults 25-54, it beats the combined deliveries of CNN and MSNBC (339,000 vs. 315,000).


The show features a rotating group of five co-hosts, which primarily include author and latenight host Greg Gutfeld; former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino; former Democratic strategist Bob Beckel; former oil trader and ex-minor league baseball player Eric Bolling; New York Daily News columnist and radio talkshow host Andrea Tantaros; former Victoria Secret model and First Lady of San Francisco Kimberly Guilfoyle; and FNC contributor Juan Williams.