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An example of The O'Reilly Factor's Talking Points Memo
The O'Reilly Factor is an Americanmarker talk show on the Fox News Channel hosted by commentator Bill O'Reilly, who often discusses current controversial political and social issues with guests. The show premiered in 1996, along with the Fox News Channel. The show was originally called the O'Reilly Report, but, after the suggestion of O'Reilly's friend John Tantillo, the name was changed to The O'Reilly Factor.

The O'Reilly Factor is the most-watched cable news show in the USA. In 2009, The O'Reilly Factor is averaging about 3.5 million viewers a night.


The O'Reilly Factor, is prerecorded, or "Live to Tape," except when covering breaking news or special events. The show usually tapes between 5 and 7 pm Eastern Standard Time, and airs weekdays at 8 pm, 11 pm, and 5 am EST. Some guests are interviewed before the "live to tape" period and are slotted in the program as appropriate.

O'Reilly and his producers discuss potential topics twice a week. A producer will research the story and book guests for O'Reilly, and an information packet will be produced with possible angles for O'Reilly to explore. The producers will often "pre-interview" the guest so that they know what potential points he or she might make. For each show, O'Reilly with the assistance of his staff will produce a script with the words for the "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads and Patriots" segments, and points of discussion and questions for the guests that will appear on the program. On February 2, 2009 the show launched in high definition and moved to the previous set used by the Fox Report.

The current regular guest host is radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.


O'Reilly divides his show into titled segments, appearing in the following general order. Not all segments appear in all programs, and occasionally segments will repeat.

  • Talking Points Memo: O'Reilly's commentary on a current event or the state of the country.
  • Top Story: O'Reilly covers one of the most important stories of the day, with interviews with newsmakers, noted analysts, or Fox News Channel reporters. If there is nothing breaking, the Top Story will often expand on the subject covered in the Talking Points Memo with a guest that either rebuts or concurs with the memo.
  • Impact: O'Reilly focuses on issues of crime and the law in this segment. Updates on criminal investigations, trials, and lawsuits are highlighted. Other times, issues relating to government relations and agencies are featured, as are stories about the Iraq War.
  • Unresolved Problem: O'Reilly focuses on an issue that he feels is not sufficiently covered by other media.
  • Personal Story: O'Reilly invites an author of a best selling book, a newsmaker thrust into the spotlight, someone who has experienced an event currently in the news, or someone who has interviewed a newsmaker.
  • Factor Follow-Up: O'Reilly revisits an issue discussed in a previous edition of the Factor.
  • Back of the Book: Various topics will be placed in this segment, which is one of the last segments (hence the name). Two examples are "Reality Check" and the "Great American Culture Quiz", in which O'Reilly quizzes two Fox News colleagues (usually Steve Doocy and Martha MacCallum) on pop culture.
  • Pinheads and Patriots: A segment where he praises someone whom he feels has done good for the United States while chastising someone else whom he feels harms the country or simply commits some sort of embarrassing blunder.
  • Factor Mail: O'Reilly reads brief snippets of Email sent to him. He frequently puts together letters that have opposite viewpoints on a particular segment. For instance, one letter will say O'Reilly was excessively lenient toward a guest while the next will say he was excessively hard on him.

Occasionally, the following segments appear:

  • Barack and a Hard Place: A weekly segment appearing on Wednesdays, where the best and worst things U.S. President Barack Obama has done during the week are talked about with Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley.
  • Children at Risk: O'Reilly covers issues relating to the health and well-being of children and adolescents.
  • Culture War: This segment which O'Reilly debates social issues that divides the country.
  • Culture Warriors O'Reilly talks to Margaret Hoover and Gretchen Carlson about various subjects.
  • Did You See That?: Videos clips are shown and discussed.
  • Dumbest Things of Week: Friday segment where The dumbest things of the week are shown and discued with Juliet Huddy and Greg Gutfeld.
  • Factor Investigation: O'Reilly invites guests who have investigated a person or organization that O'Reilly has criticized.
  • Fridays with Geraldo: Geraldo Rivera, of the Fox News-produced and syndicated Geraldo At Large, discusses a topic of interest to O'Reilly. Sometimes its own segment; other times rolled into one of the above segments.
  • Kelly File: A segment where O'Reilly talks to Megyn Kelly.
  • Great American New Quiz: Triva questions are answared by Steve Doocy and Martha MacCallum.
  • The Ingraham Angle: A segment where O'Reilly talks to Laura Ingraham.
  • Is It Legal: Lis Wiehl and Megyn Kelly talk about legal matters. Kimberly Guilfoyle has been a substitute for Kelly since she went on maternity leave.
  • Miller Time: A Wednesday segment where O'Reilly talks to Dennis Miller
  • Policing the ...: A segment where O'Reilly reviews several sources for normally outlandish content. The "the" in the name is usually followed up by "net" (Internet), or Media.
  • The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day: Replaced by "Pinheads & Patriots," it was a brief segment highlighting an offbeat news item.
  • Factor Flashback: Normally aired during episodes in which someone fills in for O'Reilly; a replay of a previously aired segment.
  • At your Beck and Call: A weekly segment on Tuesday (formerly Friday) where Fox News's Glenn Beck, discusses topics with O'Reilly.
  • Weekdays with Bernie: A segment where Bernard Goldberg discusses topics with O'Reilly.


The stage previously used as the set of The O'Reilly Factor.

The O'Reilly factor's averaging 3 Million viewers which is an increase of 37% from a year ago.The shows strong ratings have gotten even stronger with the White House's feud with Fox News.FNC had the top 10 programs in cable news. "The O'Reilly Factor" has been the #1 cable news show for 106 consecutive months.


O'Reilly's first guest was General Barry McCaffrey, then the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (or "Drug Czar"). Over the years, many other well-known political figures and celebrities have appeared regularly on the show.

Regular guests

People who decline to appear on The Factor

Some people have declined O'Reilly's invitation to appear on the show. Some who have been invited but have not gone on include George Clooney, Dick Cheney, Bill Moyers, and Tony Blair. O'Reilly has also offered to donate $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity if Bruce Springsteen would come on the show.

2008 presidential contenders appearing on the factor

Bill O'Reilly 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..

O'Reilly 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.

The 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin, and then Democratic Vice President candidate Joe Biden were also invited to the show, but did not choose 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.

The O'Reilly Factor has also been spoofed on Saturday Night Live, first by Jeff Richards and later on by Darrell Hammond. On MADtv it was Michael McDonald doing the honors. O'Reilly himself has appeared on MADtv as a judge on an American Idol parody. 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 for saying that America should "love thy enemy" and "turn the other cheek", even in respects to the 9/11 attacks. O'Reilly accuses him of hating America and tells him to "Take another 40 year nap, Commie bastard."

The Political Machine features a skit called "The O'Malley Factor" ("A show you appear on while running for president").

In Arrested Development, the failed Bluth company frequently features on The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day segment.

CNNNN, an Australian comedy show which satirized cable news, featured a recurring segment entitled The Firth Factor. These segments typically showed Charles Firth, a member of the Chaser comedy team, presenting his opinion on topical issues, often through use of over-the-top comparisons (such as dipping a paper heart in a can of black paint and claiming: "This is how black Saddam Hussein's heart is") and outrageous statements in a parody of O'Reilly and Australian current affairs personalities.

In 2008 Talkshow with Spike Feresten has begun parodying O'Reilly with a series of videos entitled "Lil Bill O'Reilly", using a child as O'Reilly. The original video has become widespread throughout the Internet.


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