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With Bill O' Reilly officially out of the Fox News family, Tucker Carlson has slipped into his nightly 8 p.m. slot. Last night was Carlson's first night in O'Reilly's time slot and many, I'm sure, are curious as to whether Carlson could fill the shoes of Fox's longtime heavyweight anchor. Here's what we know about Tucker Carlson's first night in the new role and how many tuned in to watch his debut.
Variety tells us that Monday's numbers for Tucker Carlson are actually quite solid. In fact, Carlson's first show in the 8 p.m. hour would gain more viewers than O'Reilly in the network's desired 25-54 demographic. Despite his gain in a key demographic, his overall viewership of 3.2 million fell just short of Bill O'Reilly's last episode of The O'Reilly Factor's viewership number of 3.6 million. Even so, that's a pretty good showing for Carlson, who ended the night beating out rival news programming Anderson Cooper 360 and All In With Chris Hayes. Carlson also managed to beat out colleague Greg Gutfield who hosted the show in the week between O'Reilly's exit and Carlson's debut.
The switch was perhaps easier for Tucker Carlson than past moves, as his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, only moved up an hour from its usual timeslot while Fox News' The Five moved into his old 9 p.m. slot. This will be the third time Carlson has been moved, as he had previously filled in for both Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren upon their departures. In less than a year, Tucker Carlson began at 7 p.m. for Susteren, got promoted to 9 p.m. when Kelly left, and now he's in the prized spot at 8 p.m. with Bill O'Reilly out of the game. Moves like that appear to indicate Fox News is betting big on Carlson's success and future with the company.
That bet likely means a lot to Tucker Carlson considering Bill O'Reilly's legacy on Fox News. The O'Reilly Factor has been on the air since October 1996, and in those more than 20 years had a dominant presence as one of the top cable news programs out there. O'Reilly received his walking papers from the network a couple of weeks ago in response to long-standing allegations that accused him of sexual harassment. While O'Reilly is saddened that he was ousted from his show, I'm sure the rumored $25 million payout he received to leave helps dry any tears.
Will Tucker Carlson Tonight continue an upwards trajectory? It's hard to say, but if Carlson begins breaking Bill O'Reilly's viewership records you can expect some headlines. Be sure to keep track of what shows are safe and what is canceled via our renewal guide and find some new shows on our summer premiere schedule.