According to Pew Research, women make up nearly three-quarters of the regular audience for ABC’s “The View.” But with that longtime daytime talk show facing the potentially devastating departure of Barbara Walters, who is retiring in May, it looks as if the Fox News Channel wants to lure some of those viewers into its conservative lair.
Later this month, the network is launching “Outnumbered,” a new daytime talk show featuring a panel of four female hosts and one rotating male host. The program, which will air weekdays at noon, will cover the day’s top headlines from “all angles and perspectives,” the network said on Wednesday. Regular viewers of “The View” (which lost co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck to Fox News last year) will no doubt recognize some similarities between the two shows. Here’s how Fox News pitched it:
“‘Outnumbered’s’ engaging dynamic, guided by four savvy women and one man, is designed to provide viewers with a fresh take on the latest news. During each segment, the panelists will examine the top news of the hour, and deliberate the leading pop culture and relationship issues dominating the headlines that day.”
The hourlong program will feature news coverage led by Harris Faulkner, a weekend anchor for Fox News, and Sandra Smith, a reporter for the Fox Business Network. Both will serve as rotating panelists, according to the network. Fox News has not said whether permanent panelists will eventually be chosen. Faulkner is a veteran reporter who has won six Emmy Awards. Smith joined Fox Business as a reporter in October 2007. Additional talent to be featured on the program include Kimberly Guilfoyle and Andrea Tantaros, co-hosts of “The Five,” and Fox News contributors Jedediah Bila, Katie Pavlich and Kirsten Powers. According to Fox News, each of the panelists will also keep their current roles.
Despite similarities to “The View,” the two programs will not compete directly -- “The View” airs an hour earlier at 11 a.m. But without Walters, its creator and consistent voice of reason for 17 years, the show’s future viability is precarious at best.
Fox News, meanwhile, has been shaking things up a bit, infusing its aging boys’ club roster with the likes of Hasselbeck and Megyn Kelly, whose “The Kelly File” primetime show consistently ranks No. 1 in the key 25-54 demographic. Fox News just celebrated its 147th consecutive month as the most-watched network in cable news, so it’s hard to imagine the higher-ups need to fret much about tweaking its formula.
But they do, or at least they will at some point in the future. The conservative network has long been plagued by a maturing demographic, with its median viewer age at a ripe old 68, according to a recent profile in New York magazine. Granted, that statistic reflects the general graying of cable news viewers as a whole, but the problem is more pronounced for Fox News than it is for its competitors, CNN and MSNBC.
Will “Outnumbered” help reverse the trend? Tune in and see for yourself (if you can stomach it). The show debuts on Monday, April 28, at 12 ET.
Fox News is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).