The O'Reilly Factor
|Also known as|
|Created by||Bill O'Reilly|
|Presented by||Bill O'Reilly|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||21|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company||Fox News|
|Original network||Fox News Channel|
|Original release||October 7, 1996 –|
April 21, 2017
The Factor (originally titled The O'Reilly Report and also known as The O'Reilly Factor) is an American cable television news and talk show. The O'Reilly Factor first aired in the United States on Fox News Channel on October 7, 1996, the same day the network launched. It was hosted by conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly, who discussed current events and controversial political issues with guests. The final episode aired on April 21, 2017, after O'Reilly was fired from the network.
The O'Reilly Factor was generally pre-recorded, though on occasion it aired live if breaking news or special events were being covered (e.g., presidential addresses that occurred during prime-time and debate coverage). It was usually taped between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time and aired weekdays at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The show was recorded "live to tape", meaning that the recording broke for commercials as if the show was actually on the air while being recorded. Some guests were interviewed before the "live to tape" period and were slotted in the program as appropriate. He began every show with the catch phrase from February 28, 2005 to April 11, 2017, "Caution! You are about to enter the No Spin Zone. The Factor begins right now!" followed by the theme song, and then saying "Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly, thanks for watching us tonight," introducing the topic of the first segment, followed by "and that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo", a monologue which was often followed with an interview on the same topic.
O'Reilly and his producers discussed potential topics twice a week. Guest hosts included: Eric Bolling, Monica Crowley, Greg Gutfeld, E. D. Hill, Laura Ingraham, John Kasich, Michelle Malkin, Tony Snow, and Juan Williams.
Early in 2009, the show's ratings increased. In July 2009, Hal Boedeker blogged that The O'Reilly Factor peaked at 3.1 million viewers which was an increase of 37% from the previous year. In September 2009, The O'Reilly Factor was the #1 cable news show for 106 consecutive weeks. In May 2014, The O'Reilly Factor still held this top position, but average monthly viewers were down to 2.1 million, with a median age of 72 years. In March 2015, The O'Reilly Factor remained at the number one spot on cable news ratings for its 60th consecutive quarter, experiencing 19% growth in viewership among individuals aged 25 to 54 years old.
Ratings were initially high after sexual harassment allegations against O'Reilly resurfaced in April 2017. In the time during Bill O'Reilly's week-long vacation preceding his firing (in which Dana Perino guest hosted), the ratings dropped 26%.
Michelle Malkin was a frequent guest host. A conservative commentator, she began boycotting the show in 2007 due to controversy involving remarks made against her by Geraldo Rivera over her position on illegal immigration.
2008 presidential contenders
Fox News producers had tried for years to get Hillary Clinton to come on the show. On April 30, 2008, Clinton agreed to come on the show as part of a pre-taped interview that would be broadcast over two days. The host also held an exclusive, four-part interview with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Both interviews drew significant media attention as they were front runners for the 2008 presidential election. In the same election cycle, Ron Paul and O'Reilly got into a testy exchange over the issue of Iran. The 2008 Republican candidate for vice president, Sarah Palin, and then Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden were also invited to the show, but chose not to make an appearance.
In 2005, The Colbert Report premiered on Comedy Central. The show, hosted by Stephen Colbert, is a satirical spoof of pundit shows like The O'Reilly Factor, spoofing its format and the mannerisms and ideology of O'Reilly, whom Colbert calls "Papa Bear." Colbert makes no secret of his spoofing O'Reilly: upon hearing the news that O'Reilly approved of The Colbert Report, he declared on-air that "I like you too. In fact, if it wasn't for you, this show wouldn't exist." On January 18, 2007, Colbert appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and O'Reilly appeared on The Colbert Report. After Bill O'Reilly left the show, the Late Show character Stephen Colbert made an appearance "via satellite" to bid his farewell to Bill. "“Hello, nation." He said. "Shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O’Reilly. You didn’t deserve this great man...Bill, I invite you to come live in a mountain cabin with me and Jon Stewart. It’s fun; you’ll like it. We’ve got an animal sanctuary; Jon and I milk the goats, and soon I hope Jon and I will be milking you. Stay strong, papa bear.”
The O'Reilly Factor has also been spoofed on Saturday Night Live, first by Jeff Richards and later on by Darrell Hammond, and then with Alec Baldwin, where Baldwin played both O'Reilly and Donald Trump in the same sketch in an interview segment. On MADtv, the parody was by Michael McDonald. O'Reilly himself has appeared on MADtv. Richards also played O'Reilly in an episode of Mind of Mencia where O'Reilly is a senator in the year 2016. The show was also spoofed by the TV series The Boondocks; first in the episode "The Trial of R. Kelly" where O'Reilly is shown talking about R. Kelly's latest legal trouble. Later in "Return of the King", O'Reilly is shown attacking Martin Luther King Jr. for saying that America should "love thy enemy" and "turn the other cheek", even in respects to the 9/11 attacks. The Chaser's War on Everything featured a segment in its second season where it poked fun at The O'Reilly Factor.
After five sexual harassment settlements by O'Reilly and Fox News were reported by The New York Times, The O'Reilly Factor lost more than half its advertisers within a week; almost 60 companies withdrew their ads. Despite the loss of advertisers, The O'Reilly Factor's ratings increased during the controversy. On April 11, 2017, O'Reilly announced he would take a two-week vacation and would return to the program on April 24, 2017.
On April 19, 2017, O'Reilly was fired. Online, references to O'Reilly on FoxNews.com were immediately removed, with the main show website redirecting to the FoxNews.com homepage and its content removed. The program continued for three more episodes without O'Reilly, but the title was shortened to The Factor. Dana Perino guest hosted the show on April 19, 2017 and April 20, 2017 and Greg Gutfeld hosted the final episode on April 21, 2017.
In the April 19, 2017 episode, Perino read a prepared statement about O'Reilly's dismissal equivalent to what the network had released earlier in the day. The reasons for his firing and the sexual harassment allegations were not mentioned in the program itself. The termination of employment of the former host was a major feature of news coverage on both MSNBC and CNN; outside of the prepared statements, it was not mentioned on-air during the program and other regular topics were covered. The following day, images of the host were removed from the front windows of the News Corp. Building. O'Reilly was not given an opportunity to sign-off on-air, instead releasing a statement through his agency about the matter, while continuing to deny the sexual harassment allegations against him. During the final episode Gutfeld spoke about the program's legacy and the loyalty of the show's staff after a segment with Tucker Carlson, followed by a fading of the stage's lighting to a dark state, revealing the set now blank of anything identifying the show.
The three-day interregnum allowed the network to sort out a new prime-time lineup to start on April 24, 2017, which saw Tucker Carlson Tonight move into the former The O'Reilly Factor time-slot, followed by the move of the late afternoon program The Five to 9:00 p.m. ET.
- Feldman, Josh (April 21, 2017). "Fox's Greg Gutfeld Thanks 'Our Loyal Viewers' on the Final Factor". Mediaite. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- de Moraes, Lisa (April 19, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly's Name Wiped From 'The Factor' After Fox News Parts Ways With Star". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- "Bill O'Reilly: Behind the Scenes Q & A".
- Buckman, Adam (April 20, 2017), "And That's That: 'The O'Reilly Factor' Is No More", MediaPost
- "Bostonia – BU alumni quarterly". 2001. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
- "Carson Stands by Comments That Planned Parenthood Targets Black Communities". Fox News. August 13, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Has Race Become a Factor in Michael Jackson Coverage?". Fox News. June 30, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Dr. Carson: 'The Community Has to Recognize That a Thug Is a Thug'". Fox News. December 22, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "N-Word Debate Back in Spotlight After Jesse Jackson's Remarks". Fox News. July 21, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Bill O'Reilly: Obama's Op-Ed 'Is a Little Disingenuous'". Fox News. July 22, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Racism Charges Over Vogue Magazine Cover Featuring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen". Fox News. March 28, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "'Factor' Flashback: 'Godfather of Soul' talks with Bill". Fox News. December 27, 2006. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Couey's Confession Is Released". Fox News. July 1, 2005. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "UCLA Professor Investigates Liberal Media Bias in New Book". Fox News. August 5, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Gorman, Bill (February 6, 2009). "Obama Administration Boosts Factor TV Ratings". TV by the Numbers. United States: Tribune Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Boedeker, Hal (July 28, 2009). "Fox News dominates July ratings; Bill O'Reilly again tops — and Nancy Grace makes impressive gains". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida: Tronc, Inc. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Ariens, Chris (September 29, 2009). "Q3 Cable Ratings: FNC Shows Fill Top 10; #3 Network on Cable; Beck Grows Timeslot 136%". WebMediaBrands Inc. Media Bistro. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Gold, Hadas (May 29, 2014). "May cable news ratings spare no one". Politico. Arlington County, Virginia: Capitol News Company. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- "Q1 2015 Ratings: CNN Makes Big Demo Gains, MSNBC Hits Record Lows, Fox Continues Victories". Mediaite. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- "Scoreboard: Monday, April 17". www.adweek.com. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Schiavo, Amanda (April 18, 2017). "'O'Reilly Factor' Ratings Slump Without Host". TheStreet. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Scoreboard: Wednesday, April 19". www.adweek.com. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Malkin, Michelle. "Michelle Malkin » Stiiiiill going". Michellemalkin.com. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- By, Posted (April 29, 2008). "SFGate: Politics Blog : Hillary Goes on O'Reilly Wednesday for first time!". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- "Hillary Clinton, meet Bill O'Reilly". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tronc, Inc. April 29, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- "Chron.commons | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Carl Macgowan. "Clinton to appear on O'Reilly show - Newsday.com". Newsday.com. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- "The Hillary Factor". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Rhee, Foon (April 30, 2008). "Clinton's unusual political bedfellows - 2008 Presidential Campaign Blog - Political Intelligence - Boston.com". Boston.com. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Patrick. "O'Reilly: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not acting." – mediabistro.com: FishbowlDC". Mediabistro.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
- Solomon, Deborah (September 25, 2005). "Funny About the News". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Stephen Colbert Enters the No Spin Zone". Fox News. New York City: Fox Entertainment Group. January 19, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Bill O'Reilly Pt. 1. ComedyCentral.com January 18, 2007. Last Retrieved.
- Bradley, Laura. "Stephen Colbert Sends Off Bill O'Reilly as Only Colbert Can". HWD. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- ""MADtv" Episode #9.17 (2004) – Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Mencia, Carlos (April 19, 2006), "Carlos Smoov", Mind of Mencia
- Bell, Anthony (November 6, 2005), "The Trial of R. Kelly", The Boondocks
- Lee, Kalvin (January 15, 2006), "Return of the King", The Boondocks
- Andrew Hansen and Chas Licciardello (April 4, 2007), "The News According To Fox; Fair and Balanced", Chaser's War on Everything: Season 2, Episode 2
- Russell, Karl (April 11, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly's Show Lost More Than Half Its Advertisers in a Week". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Kludt, Tom (April 6, 2017). "Few ads run on 'O'Reilly Factor' as boycott takes effect". CNNMoney. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Borchers, Callum (April 7, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly's advertiser exodus is even worse than it looks". Washington Post.
- Gidda, Mirren (April 5, 2017). "Fox News' Bill O'Reilly continues to lose advertisers over sexual harassment scandal". Newsweek.
- Levin, Gary (April 6, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly Ratings Up Amid Sexual-Harassment Controversy". USA Today. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Concha, Joe (April 10, 2017). "O'Reilly's Ratings Rise as Advertisers Flee". The Hill. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Bill O'Reilly taking vacation amid scandal, advertiser exodus CNN Money, April 11, 2017.
- Sherman, Gabriel (April 19, 2017). "Sources: Fox News Has Decided Bill O'Reilly Has to Go". New York Magazine. New York City: New York Media, LLC. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- de Moraes, Lisa (April 19, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly Out At Fox News Channel Ending 21-Year Run". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Mendoza, Samantha (April 20, 2017), "Fox News Cut Bill O'Reilly's Name From The 'Factor' Logo — PHOTO", Bustle.com
- Borchers, Callum (April 19, 2017). "Fox News scrubs O'Reilly's name from 'The Factor,' says viewers 'will have a lot of feelings'". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Shapiro, Rebecca (April 19, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly's Name Has Already Been Scrubbed From 'The Factor'". The Huffington Post. United States: AOL. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Carter, Brandon (April 19, 2017), "Fox News removes O'Reilly's name from show graphics", The Hill
- Namako, Tom (April 20, 2017), "Fox News Ditches Bill O'Reilly After Several Women Said He Sexually Harassed Them", BuzzFeed News
- Flood, Brian (April 20, 2017), "Fox News' Dana Perino Explains Bill O'Reilly's Absence From His Former Show (Video)", Yahoo News
- Petit, Stephanie (April 20, 2017), "WATCH: Bill O'Reilly's Name Scrubbed from His Show – Now Just The Factor – Hours After His Firing", People
- "Fox News Erases Bill O'Reilly's Name From 'The Factor'", Inside Edition, April 20, 2017
- Bauder, David (April 19, 2017), "'The O'Reilly Factor' becomes 'The Factor' as harassment claims lead to Bill O'Reilly exit", Chicago Tribune, Associated Press
- Rousselle, Christine. "Here's The New Fox News Channel Primetime Lineup". Townhall. Retrieved April 21, 2017.