As Fox News Channel's "The Five" turns two today, it has some ratings news to help stoke the celebration.
The late-afternoon talkshow, on which five panelists examine the top news, controversies and issues of the day, is now averaging more than 2 million viewers daily and has become the No. 2 cable news program, behind only the net's "The O'Reilly Factor."
CNN and MSNBC have had difficulty getting much traction, "The Five" has seen its audience spike post-launch. According to Nielsen, the show's average daily audience for the first six months of 2013 (2,096,000) was more than 50% higher than that for its early weeks in launch.
"The Five" took over the 5 p.m. ET slot formerly held by Glenn Beck, whose afternoon show was very popular at one point but ultimately became a tough one for Fox to sell to advertisers. That has not been a problem with "The Five," whose roundtable, "The View"-like format has been well received from the start.
Because it airs earlier in the day, and when many younger adults aren't available to watch, "The Five" skews a bit older than the network's primetime programs. As a result, while it was up 25% overall in the first half of this year compared to last, it was basically flat in adults 25-54 (where it averages 339,000) and is cable news' No. 3 daily news program in this category (behind FNC's "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity").
In total viewers, "The Five" beats the combined averages in the 5 p.m. hour of CNN, MSNBC, HLN and CNBC, according to Nielsen. And in adults 25-54, it beats the combined deliveries of CNN and MSNBC (339,000 vs. 315,000).
The show features a rotating group of five co-hosts, which primarily include author and latenight host Greg Gutfeld; former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino; former Democratic strategist Bob Beckel; former oil trader and ex-minor league baseball player Eric Bolling; New York Daily News columnist and radio talkshow host Andrea Tantaros; former Victoria Secret model and First Lady of San Francisco Kimberly Guilfoyle; and FNC contributor Juan Williams.