×

Fox News Channel Keeps Counting on ‘The Five’

Fox News Channel is known best for primetime hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, but its top executive is also enthusiastic about “The Five,” a panel show that airs each day at 5 p.m.

“No matter where it went, it was the best decision I ever made as a programming executive,” says Suzanne Scott, Fox News’ chief executive, in an interview. These days, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams and Jesse Watters host the show with a guest sitting in each day.

Originally conceived in 2011 as a program that would give more air time to a bevy of Fox News contributors who did not have their own roost on the schedule, “The Five” has delivered for Fox News in times both easy and difficult. It usually airs each afternoon, but for a period of a few months in 2017, it moved to primetime as Fox News dealt with the one-two punch of losing both Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly. Fox News originally launched it to fill in for the departure of the controversial Glenn Beck, whose program had come to an end.

“The Five” has never been outmatched by rival programming on CNN or MSNBC in either total viewers or in the demographic most favored by advertisers in news content, people between 25 and 54. In March, according to Nielsen, its overall viewership surged 21% and rose 2% in the demo.

“It’s a great show for us, and it’s a great show for America, actually,” says Scott, who had a role in the program’s creation.

She recalls watching a pilot involving some of the program’s original personalities, particularly Gutfeld, who had been hosting his own late-night show on Fox News, and Perino, the former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush. The two were placed next to one another, as Fox News executives tried to determine which combinations of anchors would best connect with the audience. “The two of them had never met before that day,” says Scott. “The chemistry was natural. They are both really smart. He’s incredibly clever and funny and she’s sort of the straight smart one.”

Scott says she turned to look at John Finley, a veteran Fox News executive who has had a hand in developing many of the network’s recent programs. “We knew this was going to be a hit.”

Others appeared to take notice. “The Five” first started as a fill-in program before being made a permanent part of the Fox News line-up. By November of 2011, Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker praised the show for the way it showed a squabbling “family” of hosts bickering over the issues of the day. “The Five,” he said, was a “delightfully nutty show with an undercurrent of ragin’ crazy.” By June of 2012, MSNBC had launched “The Cycle,” a 3 p.m. panel show featuring Krystal Ball, S.E. Cupp, Steve Kornacki and Toure.

“I believe a show like ‘The Five’ reflects how many of us live our lives — with family and friends having varying backgrounds and opinions on a wide range of topics from politics to crime and culture stories to water-cooler topics…and even if we are debating or disagreeing about something, we can end every topic laughing and feeling good,” says Scott. “And that is what we see on ‘The Five’ — they can disagree and debate but still have fun and laugh together in the end.”

The show has also been good for its hosts. Perino got her own hour on Fox News in October of 2017. Gutfeld has moved on to a Saturday-night program.

As for “The Five” itself? The show nabs more viewers at 5 p.m. – approximately 2.6 million – than programming on ESPN, Nickelodeon or HGTV.

More TV

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

  • Teyonah Parris

    Teyonah Parris Cast in 'WandaVision' at Disney Plus

    “Mad Men” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” actress Teyonah Parris has been cast in Disney Plus’ “Wanda Vision” series. She will play an adult version of Monica Rambeau, a child character introduced in the film “Captain Marvel.” The announcement was made at Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation. The forthcoming Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth [...]

  • Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2

    'NOS4A2' Renewed for Season 2 at AMC

    AMC has renewed “NOS4A2” for a second season. The news was announced during the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con and ahead of the Season 1 finale. Season 2 will consist of 10 episodes and is slated to air in 2020. The series, which is based on the 2013 Joe Hill novel of the same [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Signs Netflix Deal With Expanded Coverage

    SAG-AFTRA and streaming giant Netflix have agreed to a new three-year contract with expanded coverage for union performers. Netflix has previously employed SAG-AFTRA members under the union’s standard master contracts for television and film and had been signing on a production by production basis. The union announced Saturday that the new deal recognizes performance capture as covered work [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

  • 'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins

    'Russian Doll' Star Charlie Barnett Joins 'Arrow' Final Season

    “Russian Doll” standout Charlie Barnett is joining the “Arrowverse.” Barnett, who is having a busy year having also appeared in Netflix’s “Tales of the City,” comes on board in the series regular role of John Diggle, Jr., son of David Ramsey’s character. News of his casting was announced at the show’s farewell Comic-Con panel where things [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content