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Hannity strikes brilliant move in debut time slot, knocks MSNBC’s Maddow off top ratings perch

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In their first night of head-to-head competition since Fox News changed its programming schedule, Sean Hannity knocked MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow off of her perch.

And he did it on the same day that the Fox News Channel announced a revamp of its daytime lineup that place women at the forefront.

It was the first night of Hannity’s return to the 9 p.m. spot where he perviously had been parked for years. The network changed its schedule amid a slew of changes including the Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren leaving their longtime spots.

Early ratings show Fox News’ latest change might do the trick, with Hannity crushing Maddow who was holding the top-rated cable news show since Bill O’Reilly was fired from Fox News.

In perhaps a very calculated (and brilliant?) move, Hannity invited O’Reilly to be a guest in the time slot debut. And the former Fox host brought his ‘A’ game:

It was O’Reilly’s first appearance on the network since he was fired amid sexual harassment allegations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hannity scored 3.27 million viewers to Maddow’s 2.66 million, with the latter bringing in 666,000 in the coveted 25-54 demographic to Maddow’s 591,000.

Fox News also revealed its new daytime lineup that will include Dana Perino, formerly of “The Five,” hosting her own show, titled “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.”

Harris Faulkner will host her new show “Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner” at 1 p.m. and Sandra Smith was named the new permanent co host of the 9 a.m. “America’s Newsroom” with Bill Hemmer.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement last week that Fox News will have a live 11 p.m. show, hosted by another woman, Shannon Bream, to compete with CNN and MSNBC.

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Carmine Sabia

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