Fox News debuts strong initial ratings amid new lineup following Bill O'Reilly's departure

Fox News debuted its new primetime lineup to strong ratings following the departure of marquee host Bill O’Reilly amid recently revealed allegations of sexual harassment.

On Monday, Tucker Carlson, who took over O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot attracted about 3.2 million viewers, more than the entire 8 p.m. viewership of CNN and MSNBC combined.

Carlson also bested both networks among the coveted 25-54 age demographic, with 636,124 viewers compared to 351,646 who tuned in to “Anderson Cooper 360” and the 369,842 who watched MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes.”

Carlson’s show also topped fill-in host Eric Bolling’s 3.11 million viewer number when he hosted “The O’Reilly Factor” last week.

Still, even on his first night, the newly minted 8 p.m. host failed to deliver O’Reilly’s famously large viewership. O’Reilly’s final show earlier this month garnered over 3.6 million viewers. Notably, though, Carlson delivered almost exactly the same number of viewers in the key 25-54 demographic as O’Reilly did his final show.

The new incarnation of “The Five,” which slightly altered its cast in the jump from 5 p.m. to Carlson’s former 9 p.m. time slot, also debuted to high viewership.

The show garnered about 2.76 million total viewers, including 568,064 between the age of 25-54. That was significantly higher than the one-week debut of CNN’s “The Lead” at 9 p.m. as well as MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which garnered 2.16 million viewers, including 523,640 between the ages of 25-54.

That represents a notable shift for the 9 p.m. hour, during which Maddow has begun to overtake Tucker in recent months in the key demographic.

It remains to be seen whether the network can sustain its ratings momentum without taking a significant hit from O’Reilly’s departure.

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