After months of beaming in from five separate locations, Fox News’ panel program The Five returned to its New York studio today.
While the hosts will no longer beam in from remote locales, they will be stationed further away from each other than they once were.
The show’s signature table is gone. Instead, the hosts will be sitting on individual stools, distanced six feet apart. Co-hosts Jesse Watters, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams and the rotating co-host will now each have his or her own table for notes, mugs, etc. They will still sit in a semi-circle layout.
No, this is not a permanent change to the show’s setup. The co-hosts will get their table back as soon as social distancing guidelines change.
“We’re sitting a half mile from each other and we’ve all been shellacked with high-gloss disinfectant,” Gutfeld quipped. “No one knew how long this separation would last so we greatly appreciate you, our loyal audience, for sticking with us while we broadcast from odd places. Some of us sat in paneled vans, others of us sat in Speedos in living rooms while dogs barked or trains whistled by. Where we once had casual Fridays, we had comatose weekends. … We’re glad to be back and glad you’re here. Too bad there is nothing to talk about.”
Williams feels these changes will allow the audience to have a better viewing experience. “We are lucky to have such a good audience,” said Williams. “The group conversation is so valuable and I hope they have that sense. I think it is easier to have that group conversation as one in one place. They should know we are taking precautions. Not only that, we are protecting the crew and the staff—everybody. It’s not being done without care.”
Perino gave “welcome back goodie bags” to each co-host: hand sanitizer, restaurant guide to help small businesses, face shield, disposable masks. Williams was also given a Seamless gift card. Wine for Gutfeld. Watters received poop bags for his new puppy, to go with some queso (not for his new puppy). Dagen McDowell, the rotating co-host, received dog treats.
“Fox did an amazing job of getting us set up where we needed to be,” said Perino. “We never missed a show—we might have had a couple glitches here and there. I did have Jasper at my feet every day for six months and that was really great. I caught back up on his life. Having been here for a day and seeing all of you, it’s very energizing and I think it will come through on the screen for the audience.”