Jesse Watters has a vision for his new solo show on Fox News. He wants “Jesse Watters Primetime” to have some elements of his former weekend show, “Watters World,” but still be “an entertaining hour with news and politics and culture, crime, tabloid — everything.” To that end, he wants to make sure he takes in viewer feedback.
“We’re also going to be debuting something,” he told TheWrap. “You know how my mom’s always texting me? We didn’t think that was fair for just my mom to be able to text me, so we’re going to be putting out a number where the whole country can text me. We’re going to have an open line of communication with the country, so I’ll be listening to them.”
He adds that viewers will play an active role in the show.
“That’s what the show is about: Listening and then rallying for the people. We’ll be having a segment at the end of each show where I will be putting people’s texts on the air and I’ll be responding to them because we want to hear from the people,” Watters explained.
The reference to his mother is part of a long-standing inside joke for Fox News fans. As one of the co-hosts of “The Five,” Watters introduced a segment a few years ago called “Mom Texts.” The premise is simple: He reads a critique — and occasional praise — sent to him by his mother, a liberal woman who is both proud of her son and ready to remind him to enunciate his words properly on live television.
In addition to “Primetime,” Watters is sticking with “The Five,” which airs at 5 p.m. ET. He will have an hour between that show and his new nightly program, but he told TheWrap he won’t eat dinner because he recently “read something that after you eat, your body loses energy because you’re digesting and all that stuff.” (He’ll put off dinner until after the show, he said.)
He joked he might use the hour to do yoga, but added he plans to spend it prepping the script for the 7 p.m. program, which he will take over after almost a year of rotating hosts, each vying for the promotion he ultimately received.
Even though Watters plans to take in feedback from his viewers, he is already being decisive about the content of his evening program. Script-writing during the final hour before airtime is just one part of how involved he plans to be. Watters said he will be ready for any news that breaks during the hour, but will also feature interviews with newsmakers in addition to his own commentary, which he will deliver in a monologue at the top of the show.
“I’m going to be deciding the entire hour what I want to do. It’s my show,” he said. “The producers on ‘The Five’ usually kind of set the rundown, with some input from the hosts … and it’s a very entertaining show and that’s why people tune in, but this more of a solo hosting gig and this is my hour so I’m going to be doing topics that I care about, whether it’s getting fatter paychecks, whether it’s controlling the border, whether it’s political correctness.”
“The Five” is a ratings juggernaut that became the first non-primetime cable news show to top a full quarter in total viewership at the end of 2021, pulling in an average of 3.3 million viewers for the final three months of the year. Watters joined the network in 2002, and has been on the show since 2017.
Watters, who is no stranger to controversy and recently came under fire for his recent comments about Dr. Anthony Fauci, told TheWrap that his aggressive, often controversial man-on-the-street “Watters World” segments will continue on “Primetime.”