FOX News debuts a new weekend prime-time schedule tonight — and Steve Hilton's The Next Revolution on Sundays is no more
Two days ago, FOX News announced a new schedule of its prime-time weekend shows. The previous lineup was on hold since the departure of host Dan Bongino from his popular Saturday-night program that was announced on April 20. Unrelated, but attracting most viewers' and the media's attention in recent weeks, was the sudden and unexpected shutdown of Tucker Carlson's number one prime-time weekday show on April 24.
FOX's announcement on Thursday of its new schedule that begins tonight at 7 P.M. E.T. contained a surprise: the end of Steve Hilton's top-rated Sunday night program, The Next Revolution. Hilton, 53, born in London, is a former director of strategy for the conservative British prime minister David Cameron. On his FOX News program, which aired on Sundays at 9 P.M. E.T. with replays at 9 P.M. and 12 A.M. P.T., Hilton, who recently became an American citizen, espoused "positive populism" and was a supporter of President Trump. His FOX program premiered in June 2017 and was appointment viewing for many conservatives, including this author. Of particular note was Hilton's fearless and aggressive reporting about COVID-19, which challenged the orthodoxy that was popular early on even among many of his FOX News peers.
While the publication Deadline headlined its story "FOX News cancels 'The Next Revolution,'" FOX News's press release implied that the decision to move on was Hilton's:
The Next Revolution will end its 9 PM/ET Sunday run, as Steve Hilton steps back from hosting a weekly show to focus on his new California non-partisan policy organization launching next week. Hilton will remain a contributor across all FOX News Media platforms.
An industry insider with knowledge of this issue confirmed that the news release described the ending of Hilton's program on Sunday nights accurately, implying that the change was indeed the host's decision — and also confirmed that Hilton in fact has a future at the channel as "a paid contributor across all platforms" and "not just [as] a guest." Attempts to contact Hilton directly were not successful. His Twitter account, The Steve Hilton Show (which now promotes his weekly audio podcast on Spotify), features an 81-second-long video uploaded on Thursday in which he says:
You may have heard the news that The Next Revolution will not be televised this Sunday or in the future. . . But you'll still see a lot of me on FOX and you'll see a lot more of me in California where I'm going to spend a lot of my energy now where I'll be launching a new organization next week which will be developing ideas and policies to move our state forward and to restore the California Dream.
Steve Hilton announces the end of his FOX News program and his future plans. Screen shot from Twitter, June 1, 2023.
Meanwhile, another Twitter account, The Next Revolution, associated with Hilton and his FOX News program, remains online (as of June 3) and includes video clips from Hilton's final cable news show last Sunday.
The New FOX News Weekend Schedule
Starting tonight, here is what's in store for viewers of FOX News from now on:
7-8 PM ET – The Big Weekend Show
8-9 PM ET – One Nation with Brian Kilmeade
9-10 PM ET – Lawrence Jones Cross Country
10-11 PM ET – FOX News Saturday Night
7-8 PM ET – The Big Weekend Show
8-9 PM ET – Life, Liberty & Levin
9-10 PM ET – Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy
10-11 PM ET – rotating topical specials
It is likely that the three-hour block of shows from 8 to 11 P.M. E.T. on both nights will be repeated so viewers in the Pacific time zone will see them at the same hour in the Pacific time zone.
The Big Weekend Show, formerly known as The Big Saturday/Sunday Show, is moving to prime time after a year on Saturdays and Sundays in the 5 P.M. E.T. hour. It features an in-studio discussion of the news with four rotating participants, drawn from a talent pool of FOX News hosts, reporters, and contributors.
The next new show on Saturdays at 10 P.M. E.T. is FOX News Saturday Night — described by a channel representative as "a new program featuring a rotating lineup of FNC personalities offering a lighter take on the news of the week." This "lighter take on the news" perspective is appearing more often on FOX News, with Gutfeld! emerging as a stand-out hit in its M–F 11 P.M. E.T. slot. Meanwhile, contributors like former cab driver, comedian, and talk show host Jimmy Failla are appearing frequently on FOX News programs like Hannity.
On Sundays starting tomorrow, former S.C. Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy's Sunday Night in America is moving from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. E.T. — the heart of prime time. Two weeks ago, Gowdy had a successful run as the host for a week of FOX News's M–F 8 P.M. E.T. hour, which is temporarily featuring rotating weekly hosts until a permanent replacement for Tucker Carlson is chosen.
The final schedule change, Sundays at 10 P.M. E.T., is an hour that will feature different specials, many of them drawn from the extensive offerings at Fox News's streaming channel, FOX Nation.
It should be noted that notwithstanding criticisms of FOX News, as always from the left and more recently from many conservatives (especially of the pundit variety) on the right, and despite losing up to a million prime-time viewers, the channel has consistently maintained its leading position in the ongoing ratings battle with its competitors MSNBC and CNN. This is confirmed by the metrics of Nielsen Media Research, the gold standard of television ratings (reported at TVNewser/Adweek). Last month, for example, FOX News had eight of the 10 most watched cable news shows; MSNBC had numbers eight and nine on the list. CNN had none of its programs among the top 26 cable news shows for the month of May.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who has covered national politics, including a number of presidential races starting in 1972, and the politics and economics of health care, popular culture, and media for over five decades. His web page with links to his work is http://peter.media. Peter's extensive American Thinker archive: http://tinyurl.com/pcathinker. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.