×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Will Replace Bill O’Reilly With Tucker Carlson

In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s ouster, Fox News Channel issued a talking points memo of its own: Its primetime lineup will maintain a similar tone and attitude even without the person who was arguably the network’s most recognizable anchor in place.

Tucker Carlson, who has held forth in primetime at 9 p.m. and delivered solid ratings, will move to O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. slot starting Monday, April 24. Fox News will fill Carlson’s former berth with its panel show, “The Five,” which will be co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams will Sean Hannity will remain at 10 p.m.

Additionally, Martha MacCallum will stay at 7 p.m. in a program that will be re-titled “The Story” starting April 28. She has been hosting a program centered on the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration. Eric Bolling, a longtime “Five” contributor and “O’Reilly Factor” substitute anchor, will get a new 5 p.m. show starting May 1.

Getting a new lineup is critical for Fox News. For decades, its primetime schedule remained inviolate. O’Reilly, Hannity (with and without Alan B. Colmes) and Greta van Susteren led three hours of programming that won more and more viewers as the years passed on, eventually drawing more audience than rival CNN. But the network’s audience is accustomed to stability. When Megyn Kelly took over the 9 p.m. slot in 2013, it marked the first time the network had shaken up primetime since 2002.

O’Reilly leaves big shoes to fill, ratings-wise. During his last full week on Fox News Channel, O’Reilly saw his viewers between 25 and 54 – the audience most coveted by advertisers – rise 42%, while overall viewership surged 28%. He regularly delivered between 3 million and 4 million viewers every weekday – people who would then stick around for anchors at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. On Monday night, Tucker Carlson delivered nearly 2.7 million viewers at 9 p.m., compared with 3.1 million viewers for an “O’Reilly Factor” with a substitute host.

The shifts could leave Fox News vulnerable to new competition. At 9 p.m., MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has gained new audience. In March, she won more viewers between 25 and 54 than any of Fox’s three primetime programs. And “The Five” will debut in primetime as CNN launches a special week of “The Lead with Jake Tapper” in that time slot.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • TV Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville'

    TV News Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville' Role in 'Arrowverse' Crossover

    In today’s TV news roundup, Erica Durance reprises her “Smallville” role in the CW’s annual “Arrowverse” crossover, and Showtime shares with Variety an exclusive sneak peek at the return of “The Circus.” FIRST LOOKS “2020 is the most important election of our lifetime,” Alex Wagner says in a new trailer for the fourth season of [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content