NEVER FULLY GONE
Bill O’Reilly Returns to Fox News. You Just Need to Look Closely.
A year after firing the alleged serial sexual harasser, Fox credited him on-air Sunday evening as the top producer of docu-series ‘Legends & Lies.’
Bill O’Reilly returned to Fox News on Sunday evening. But blink and you might’ve missed it.
Despite the network severing ties with the alleged serial sexual harasser a year ago, O’Reilly was credited on-air Sunday night as executive producer of the season-three premiere of Fox docu-series Legends & Lies.
The historical series, which features melodramatic reenactments of major historical moments combined with documentary-style narration and expert interviews, is based on a series of books by O’Reilly and David Fisher.
O'Reilly’s name appeared atop the credits—as the lone executive producer—at the end of the hour-long episode.
Seasons one and two of the series, which aired in 2015 and 2016 respectively, were narrated by the former O’Reilly Factor host himself. But season three is noticeably presented by Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, despite being based off the book Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War.
A Fox News spokesperson told The Daily Beast that the network “has not resumed a working relationship” with O’Reilly and that “the series was already in production prior to his departure.” It is unclear how much he or his production company were paid.
Fox gave O’Reilly the boot in April 2017 after The New York Times revealed that the network and their star host paid five women a total of $13 million to silence claims that he had sexually harassed them. The revelation led to a massive advertiser boycott, a slew of new claims against him, and the eventual firing of cable news’ then-king of ratings.
Legends & Lies isn’t the first time O’Reilly has worked with Fox News after his ouster. After months of screaming online about a “far-left conspiracy” that worked to get him fired, O’Reilly sat down for a friendly interview with Sean Hannity that—shockingly—did not touch upon the ex-host’s sex-misconduct allegations.
“Sean Hannity. Bill O’Reilly. The powerful opinions you have to hear on the hot topics that have America talking,” a tone-deaf Fox promotional ad boasted that week. “The interview you don’t want to miss is only on Hannity.”
Since his ouster, O’Reilly has been largely confined to his subscription-based podcast and to Twitter, where he’ll often post unsolicited “tips” for dealing with restaurant staff or commentating on the news du jour.