Fox announces new primetime schedule

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Fox has tapped Jesse Watters to take over Tucker Carlson’s former timeslot, a change that is triggering other schedule shuffles.

Watters, who currently appears on “The Five” and “Jesse Watters Primetime,” will move to 8 p.m. eastern, Carlson’s old hour.

Sean Hannity will remain in place at 9 p.m., but Greg Gutfeld’sGutfeld!” will move up to 10 p.m., displacing “The Ingraham Angle,” which is moving to 7 p.m. along with host Laura Ingraham.

Filling the 11 p.m. hour vacated by Gutfeld will be a new show hosted by Trace Gallagher.

The new schedule starts July 12, 2023.

With this announcement, Fox is showing that it’s committed to using its own stable of hosts to fill the schedule, rather than rely on a newcomer (Gallagher has been with the network since its launch) to fill Carlson’s place.

Carlson was fired by the network on April 24, 2023. It was later revealed that offensive text messages from Carlson came to the attention of executives after they became part of discovery in the now-canceled Dominion Voting Systems defamation trial against Fox. Fox settled that lawsuit days before axing Carlson, who was one of multiple Fox hosts to spread misinformation about the 2020 election, some of which lead to lawsuits by Dominion and fellow voting tech company Smartmatic. The Smartmatic suit is still pending.

Watters is, in many ways, a younger version of Carlson, a slightly nerdy “frat bro” type with a decidedly conservative angle. The decision to have Watters replace Carlson’s timeslot was also likely driven by a desire to attract younger viewers.

Watters is, along with Gutfeld, remaining put on “The Five” at 5 p.m. each weekday.

Fox has eliminated all positions for Carlson’s former show, the network told CNN. Employees were offered severance packages and can also apply for roles on Watters’ show.

Since Fox fired Carlson, the network’s ratings dipped. The network’s replacement program at 8 p.m. was down an average of 37% year over year as of May 2023.

Other shows on the primetime schedule are also down, though not to the extent of the 8 p.m. hour.

Some ratings were as low as before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.