'The Five' Host Considered the 'Odds-On Favorite' to Replace Tucker Carlson's Fox News Time Slot
Now that Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News, the network has a massive hole to fill in its primetime 8 p.m. time slot.
According to CNN, in 2021 Carlson’s show surpassed “The Sean Hannity Show” as the highest-rated cable news show, and it remained that way in 2022 and through the beginning of this year as well.
The network has huge shoes to fill, and a recent article from The Hill listed the people most likely to replace Carlson in the 8 p.m. spot.
The article listed well-known personalities including Piers Morgan, Brian Kilmeade, and Harris Faulkner, but one name stood above the rest.
Jesse Watters, a leading panelist for America’s top-rated debate show “The Five” and host of his own show “Jesse Watters Primetime,” was listed as the “odds-on favorite” to replace Carlson.
Top contenders to replace Tucker Carlson at Fox News https://t.co/o0gX0b2wxK
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) May 2, 2023
The Hill described Watters as a “sharp-tongued” conservative who is just as comfortable going after Republicans as he is going after Democrats while remaining staunchly conservative on all topics.
The first show after Carlson’s departure was hosted by Brian Kilmeade, and according to Forbes, the audience only dropped from 2.65 million viewers for Carlson’s last show to 2.59 million for Kilmeade’s first. Then, the free fall began.
Kilmeade’s first show was on a Monday, on Tuesday the audience dropped to 1.7 million viewers and on Wednesday all the way down to 1.3 million viewers, less than half of Carlson’s viewership just five days earlier.
Fox News viewership at 8pm ET:
Tucker’s finale: 2.65 million
Monday: 2.59 million
Tuesday: 1.70 million
Wednesday: 1.33 million
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 27, 2023
Fox News has dominated cable news ratings for years, and especially the primetime slots between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekdays. Each of the shows in Fox’s primetime lineup held a tight grip on first place in the ratings while Carlson was with the network.
The show that replaced Carlson in the 8 p.m. time slot, “Fox News Tonight,” fell to second place behind MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” which took first place with just 1.377 million viewers.
On top of that, “The Sean Hannity Show,” without Carlson to funnel viewers, fell behind Rachel Maddow in the week after Carlson’s ouster.
Newsmax, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was the biggest ratings winner when Carlson and Fox parted ways.
“Eric Bolling the Balance (531,000 viewers) at 8 p.m. and Greg Kelly Reports (540,000) at 9 p.m. both had more than triple their average audience from the first quarter of the year (145,000 for Bolling and 141,000 for Kelly).”
Along with the fall in ratings, the stock price for Fox tumbled 5.4 percent after Carlson’s ouster and there are still no details from either party about why Carlson is no longer at Fox.
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