Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered” has been pulling in some pretty good numbers ever since CEO Roger Ailes split the typical two-hour midday timeslot into separate 60-minute sections, creating the new series.
On Tuesday, the show — which stole the second hour of “Happening Now” — celebrated another monumental number: its 100th episode.
Bill Shine, senior executive vice president of programming for FNC, explained the nontraditional maneuvering of time slots to TheWrap.
“The goal was to change the pace of the afternoon,” he said.
The other goal was to appeal to more women, who are regularly available during the show’s weekday noon time period. So Fox News created a more light-hearted news show featuring four women — two permanent and two rotating — and “one lucky guy,” a revolving man literally caught in the middle of what host Harris Faulkner calls “the chaos.”
That influx of testosterone has sparked the social media hashtag #OneLuckyGuy.
But just because its a midday show with four females opining to the camera doesn’t mean it’s a ripoff of that other talker getting all the media attention this week, Shine told us.
“There was actually nothing [done] to differentiate it from ‘The View’ — we actually wanted to differentiate it from [Fox News Channel’s] ‘The Five,'” he said.
So far, so good. The ratings have soared from its somewhat humble beginnings. “Outnumbered” is up 34 percent in overall viewership and up 84 percent in the key 25-54 demo since its debut. It currently delivers more than one million viewers in the noon hour, besting MSNBC and CNN combined in the timeslot.
On that feat, co-host Faulkner (Sandra Smith is the other permanent fixture on the couch) credits the format’s versatility. “I think it’s the ability to be nimble — we cover eight to 10 topics — which is a lot when you have five people on the show,” Faulkner said.
Stacey Dash, a regular in the show’s rotation, thinks it’s the selection of those softer topics that moves the needle. “It’s going into more social/cultural issues,” Dash told TheWrap, comparing “Outnumbered” to the other FNC programs she does hits on.
And the program is just getting better with age, the “Clueless” actress added. “We’re finding more interesting topics,” Dash said of her most recent appearances.
It hasn’t been a huge challenge to find fodder recently, Faulkner told us. And it certainly isn’t all casual coffee talk. “I don’t think we’ve ever had so much hard news in the summer,” the “Fox Report Weekend” host said.
In reaching triple digits, it’s a nice time for a slight celebration, those involved agree — so long as it goes several hundred more.
“It means that 99 episodes ago, we were on our way,” Faulkner said.
Dash added, “It means it’s a success and we’re achieving the goal of showing the lighter show of Fox News.”
Shine, the most tenured of the trio, put it this way: “I’ve been here for 18 years, so it’s a start. One-hundred episodes means a very, very good start. Of the future of the series’ format, he concluded: “I’m 100 episodes in and up 84 percent — we’re not going to change too much!”
“Outnumbered” airs Monday-Friday at noon on Fox News Channel.