Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Shepard Smith Debuts Feature Giant iPads, Ted Cruz and Bob Beckel's Sex Life

Fox News' Megyn Kelly, Shepard Smith Debuts Feature Giant iPads, Ted Cruz and Bob Beckel's Sex Life

Network turns 17 with some big changes

Monday marked the 17th anniversary of the cable news channel that has dominated the ratings for so long that it hasn't changed its primetime lineup in over a decade.

Until now.

Shepard Smith and Megyn Kelly, anchoring Fox News’ new shows amid its new schedule, greeted the new era with futuristic new sets, a stated emphasis on journalism and social media and way too much information about Bob Beckel's sex life.

Also read: Fox News’ Shepard Smith on New Role: ‘I'll Be the Quarterback’

Fox News unveiled its biggest schedule shakeup in years Monday, showing off its new Shepard Smith-run Fox News Deck (below) and the oft-mocked 55-inch iPad-esque (for the record, they're believed to be $8,000 Microsoft Perceptive Pixels) tablet desks his team of information specialists used to scour the internet for breaking news.

Smith hosted the new “Shepard Smith Reporting” from the Deck at 3 p.m., where he showed off some of his fancy new tech toys before retiring back into the Deck, on call for any news that may break throughout the day.

Smith was absent from the 7 p.m. hour; his “Fox Report” has been replaced by “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” moved from 10 p.m., which shifted “Hannity” up to 10 p.m. “The O'Reilly Factor” stayed in its top-rated 8 p.m. home, leaving 9 p.m. for Megyn Kelly's “The Kelly File.”

Also read: Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Visits ‘O'Reilly Factor’ to Preview Her New Show

There's a lot of pressure on Kelly to own this timeslot — Fox News has no intention of slipping in the ratings now after years at the top, and Kelly's show is part of its push to incorporate its news side into its opinion-dominated primetime lineup.

Kelly seemed to relish the challenge. “What's it like to be the most-hated man in America?” she asked her first guest Ted Cruz, pointing to a poll where the Republican congressman very low favorable rating.

Cruz avoided the questions he didn't want to answer and stuck to his talking points for several minutes — and Kelly, for the most part, let him do it. She'll have to challenge politicians more if she wants her program to truly show both sides of an argument, as she claimed on her recent “O'Reilly” appearance.

Also read: How Fox News’ 3 A.M. Talker ‘Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld’ Beat Piers Morgan

Shepard Smith on the Fox News Deck

Shepard Smith on the Fox News Deck

An interview with the family of the woman shot and killed when she drove her car through White House barriers on Thursday gave a much better sense of the news-rather-than-opinion take the show will have on the day's events.

And then things got weird. The cast of “The Five” showed up to greet Kelly (sans Greg Gutfeld, probably because he was taping Tuesday morning's “Red Eye”) and discuss Miley Cyrus, which lead to a discussion about Bob Beckel's sex life (“sex over 40 gets better and he has a lot of it,” reports Andrea Tantaros) and Kimberly Guilfoyle's colonoscopy (“you have to do it, it's for your own health,” Kelly said) and Kelly's “beached whale” moment while she was giving birth to her son, among other things.

A later segment let Kelly do what the former litigator has always felt most comfortable with: report on legal matters. “Kelly's Court” looked at what possible case the man who was run over by an SUV driving away from a gang of motorcycles might have against the driver, with lawyers representing either side of the argument.

Also read: Fox News’ ‘The Five’ on Miley Cyrus: ‘That Was a Cheerleading Squad for Hookers’

Kelly finished the show urging viewers to tweet at her, telling them she planned to incorporate a lot of social media into the show (she even found time to tweet during a commercial break). That's a big part of what Smith is doing as well.

It's an experimental time for a network that hasn't had to try anything new in years. Roger Ailes has said he's certain Fox News is on the cutting edge of how news will be delivered in the digital age. Then again, he also told TVWeek in 2005 that CNN's then-new TV screen walls on “The Situation Room” showed CNN had given up on “getting the ratings with their programming, so they've decided to get the ratings with their walls.”

In the end, Fox News’ ratings will show if its audience is turned off by change or if it's ready to try something new — something it hasn't had to do in a long time.

Watch Shepard Smith's tour of the Fox News Deck and a clip from the “Kelly File”:

  • mmbond

    Actually they are giant Microsoft computers, (probably Pixelsense – formerly Surface). see link:
    Way to get traffic with misleading title.

  • John Edwards

    The new line-up of shows is insane! Fox News had been in the number one slot for years; but what generally follows change that was rooted for so many years? Failure. I have watched Fox News this whole time, they won't let me any more. I live
    in CO, my National News was Shepard Smith in Studio B, came on at 1
    and 5pm now all I have is NBC, CBS, ABC, HLN or CNN which I will not
    watch! Fox News set the bar the highest, why lower my expectant bar
    of excellence now? Legal matter's? Megyn Kelly for two hours may be
    an over kill at times, but her show was still a good anchor for my
    afternoon break and a good foundation laid for Studio B. But now with
    that information gone, Fox News sent me up a creek without a paddle,
    without much water. I would only wish they bring Shep back high tech
    Enterprise set and all to his afternoon and 5pm (MST) slot. For me
    Shepard Smith was the face of Fox News, he will be sorely missed.

    • Lowell Eide

      I appreciate your loyalty to Shep, but his ratings were slipping, and you have to listen to the masses.

    • cordwinder

      John you can alway watch Al Sharpton on msnbc and eat RITZ crackers his sponsor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! kidding about sharpton but not his sponser. I agree with you that a lot of loyal fox fans will miss Studio B.