Fox News Makes Post-Tucker Carlson Primetime Shuffle: Jesse Watters Slotted At 8 PM, Laura Ingraham Moves To 7 PM And Greg Gutfeld Goes To 10 PM

Fox News unveiled a new primetime lineup, with Jesse Watters moving to Tucker Carlson’s old 8 p.m. ET time slot and Laura Ingraham slotted earlier in the evening at 7 p.m.

Hannity will remain at 9 p.m. ET, while Greg Gutfeld’s show will take over Ingraham’s slot at 10 p.m. ET.

The network also said that Fox News @ Night with Trace Gallagher would move to 11 p.m. ET.

The changes will be effective as of July 17.

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A scheduling shakeup had been anticipated since Fox News pulled Carlson’s show in April, leaving the 8 p.m. ET hour with a series of rotating hosts. But they have generally drawn about half of Carlson’s audience, while Newsmax has had a ratings bump during the time period and MSNBC has improved its performance.

The changes also reflect what have been two success stories for Fox: Jesse Watters Primetime, which debuted early last year in the 7 p.m. time slot that previously had a rotating series of opinion hosts, and Gutfeld!, which greatly improved on the numbers for a newscast in the 11 p.m. ET slot. In May, Watters’ show was second in total viewers among all cable news shows, while Gutfeld! was second in the 25-54 demo. Fox News’ The Five, which airs at 5 p.m. ET, topped in both categories. Watters and Gutfeld are also regulars on that show.

In May, Drudge Report reported that a Fox News primetime overhaul was in the works, including that Hannity would move to 8 PM, while the network insisted that no decision had been made and multiple scenarios were under consideration. But it triggered some speculation over the fate of Ingraham, who has hosted The Ingraham Angle since 2017. The network issued a statement saying that Ingraham “is now and will continue to be a prominent host and integral part of the Fox News lineup.”

The move of Watters is a bet that he can revitalize the 8 p.m. hour in much the same way that Carlson succeeded Bill O’Reilly in the slot in 2017. Carlson embraced conspiracy theories and, in one of his final controversies before being pulled off the air, referred to January 6th rioters as “sightseers.” He has since launched a new Twitter series, creating a potential legal dispute as he remains under contract at the network.

Fox News had promoted Gutfeld’s show, which launched in April, 2021, as a rival to traditional broadcast and cable late-night shows, although he did not go head to head with them in west coast time zones. His move also will be a bet that audiences will take to his politically tinged humor and commentary at an earlier hour. The network’s move of Fox News @ Night is a return of a newscast to the 11 p.m. slot.

More to come.

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