After it fired Tucker Carlson, Fox News Channel made major changes to its primetime lineup. Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity are now the 7-11 EST lineup, with all the hosts but Hannity moving slots as Fox News Channel tried to find a lineup that would get people to tune in.
The others have been moved around as the network desperately attempts to build back up its ratings in the wake of popular anger and disgust over Tucker’s dismissal, with many refusing to watch the channel as they stand in solidarity with Tucker.
That cutting the cable chord, at least for conservative cable news, presented a major problem for FNC, as its ratings fell off a cliff and it started losing to its liberal competitors for the first time in years. Whereas it used to, with Tucker, defeat the combined results of CNN and MSNBC handily, it started losing to MSNBC alone after it fired Tucker.
So, it moved its hosts around to make the primetime lineup a bit better and highlight the hosts it thinks conservatives will still watch. Now Ingraham leads at 7 pm EST with “The Ingraham Angle,” which Jesse Watters follows at 8 pm EST with “Jesse Watters Primetime.” Then comes Greg Gutfeld’s “Gutfeld!” at 10 pm EST after Hannity at his traditional 9 pm EST time.
The first week of that new schedule and primetime lineup, July 17-21, was mostly successful; Fox News averaged 2.1 million viewers for the 7-11 pm EST primetime slots, which managed to once again beat the combined MSNBC and CNN results, which were 1.4 million for MSNBC and a horrible 594,000 for CNN for the same time period.
Laura Ingraham’s “Ingraham Angle” underperformed the others, averaging only 1.9 million viewers, though it still did well enough to beat out the combined CNN and MSNBC results for the 7-8 pm EST time slot.
“Jesse Watters Primetime,” though it did not do as well as Tucker Carlson’s 8 pm EST show used to do, did better than average with an average of 2.3 million viewers, more than tripling CNN’s horrific average of 666,000 viewers for the time slot. It was also a step up from the post-Tucker “Fox News Tonight,” improving viewership by 50% overall.
“Hannity,” surprisingly, was the best primetime cable show with an average of 2.4 million viewers. That was likely boosted, however, by the Tuesday night town hall with former President Donald Trump. That event brought in about 2.8 million viewers.
“Gutfeld” did not do particularly well, averaging just 1.9 million viewers. It did, however, succeed in bringing the most 25-54 year old viewers of any of FNC’s primetime shows, bringing in an average of 241,000 viewers in that age bracket. That demographic is important because it is the one advertisers want to see, thus boosting revenues.
Fox News didn’t do particularly well with that age demographic, bringing in just 202,000 average viewers in it, though that was still better than MSNBC and CNN, which brought in 143,000 and 112,000, respectively. So, Fox News is recovering somewhat from firing Tucker, though it’s still nowhere near where it was with the beloved, populist primetime host.
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