For more than six years, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hosted his weekly Huckabee program on FOX News Channel, airing typically on Saturday evenings with a rebroadcast on Sunday evenings.
His "genial" style was decidedly less inflammatory than others in the FNC lineup, which made him extremely popular with Middle America. The show also drew a wide range of political guests, including:
- former White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove,
- former First Lady Laura Bush,
- former First Lady Michelle Obama,
- former U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, D-Calif.,
- former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge,
- former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich,
- former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell,
- U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa,
- former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas,
- former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. R-Texas,
- former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador John Bolton,
- former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani,
- Vice President Dan Quayle,
- former British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
- former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres and
- former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.
Huckabee stepped down from the show in early 2015 in order to explore his eventual 2016 Republican presidential bid. He has since returned to FNC as a guest commentator and analyst, sparking hopes among many that he might bring Huckabee back to the cable network.
According to the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world's largest religious television network, Huckabee will be joining its network in the fall as a one-hour program—it doesn't specify if it will be daily or weekly—"focusing on news, issues, entertainment and faith." A new report by the trade publication Variety provides a little more detail:
Huckabee had hopes of returning to Fox News Channel after ending his campaign in February of 2016, but found executives at the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet had other ideas about how to use weekend time. He remains a Fox News contributor under a contract he says lasts for another two years.
When he suggested the idea of taking his program elsewhere, Fox News consented, he said, so long as he didn't do the program for a direct competitor. TBN, meanwhile considers the show, which will be taped in front of a live studio audience to be "the first of many new developments at our network," according to a statement from Matt Crouch, the company's chairman. The company regularly broadcasts programming from pastor Joel Osteen, among other figures.
"This is a big step for them, out of their normal wheelhouse," said Huckabee. "My show is not going to be a religious show, and it's intentionally not. The best way to describe it is it's a show and the host happens to be a person who is unapologetically a Christian, a believer, and it will have a point of view. But not every segment is necessarily going to have some overtone of faith elements."
The report states Huckabee told the trade publication he plans to retain a format that emphasizes "content over confrontation." He added that the new network will give him a new format that will allow him more time to engage with his guests.
There's been no word, however, on if The Little Rockers—his in-studio band made up of members of the production staff—will be returning to the show, as well.
TBN aired a special that was taped in Israel featuring the former governor on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It will be rebroadcast at 3 a.m. EDT Friday.
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