Fox News' Tucker Carlson opened his first show in the news channel's 8 p.m. time slot with a nod to embattled O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly.
Carlson, addressing viewers who may have been expecting to "see someone different in this anchor chair" at the start of Monday night's Tucker Carlson Tonight, said, "I watched Bill O'Reilly at this hour for years, and I always marveled at how well-prepared he was, how tough he was, and how crisply and directly he expressed his views. What O'Reilly did was not easy. He set a high bar, and I'm going to do my best to meet it. Thanks for sticking with us."
O'Reilly was ousted at Fox News in a $25 million exit deal after multiple women came forward with sexual harassment allegations against him. The host, who has been off the air on a preplanned vacation, was originally set to return on Monday.
"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel," he said in a statement.
Though O'Reilly is off television for the time being, he eturned to his No Spin News podcast Monday and told his listeners, "I'm very confident that the truth will come out. You will be shaken, as I am."
Tucker Carlson Tonight's first show occupying O'Reilly Factor's usual time slot featured an interview with Caitlyn Jenner.
The Five, the program hosted by a rotating panel including Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams and O'Reilly Factor contributor Jesse Watters, has been moved to Carlson's old 9 p.m. slot.