EXCLUSIVE: Perino & Stirewalt on the Premiere of 'I'll Tell You What'
Sundays at 5pm: it's campaign coverage with a twist!
Building on the success of their podcast, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt are bringing their unique and unscripted political conversations to the weekend lineup on Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What.
Ahead of Sunday's premiere at 5:00pm ET on Fox News Channel, Insider talked with Dana and Chris about what viewers will see and more.
Both hosts emphasized one thing you won't see on the weekly live program: "canned" political talking points.
Stirewalt, Fox News' digital politics editor, said it will feel like a "lively discussion in your living room, rather than politicians scoring points."
"On a Sunday, people want to be at ease with you. It is a privilege to be in somebody's home on a Sunday evening. That's a special time. That's not a time for shouting," he said.
Perino, co-host of The Five, said being asked to host a Sunday political show holds a special meaning for her, reflecting on a father-daughter tradition of watching 60 Minutes each weekend.
"We would set the alarm on the stove so that when we were playing outside, I wouldn't miss 60 Minutes. I would never miss 60 Minutes and I loved to watch it with my dad," she said, adding that she hopes I’ll Tell You What can be a conversation-starter among parents and their children during this closely-watched election season.
The new show will combine live reports from the campaign trail with insightful panel discussions and Perino said it will be a lot like the I’ll Tell You What podcast, which has ranked among the top political podcasts on iTunes.
"It's a casual conversation and it's kind of funny and it's a little corny and it's also very kind. They're not asking us to change," she said.
One reason the podcast has worked, Stirewalt believes, is because Perino is able to make sure complicated topics are understandable for the listener. Some people may not know that Perino started as a journalist before eventually becoming White House press secretary under George W. Bush in 2007.
"She still brings those instincts and as a questioner, she's something special," he said.
Perino and Stirewalt provide their insightful political analysis across Fox News daytime and primetime shows, but it was on The Kelly File where Dana and Chris first worked together.
"This was actually Megyn Kelly's vision in a way. She put us on-air together for the first time and we discovered we really had a good chemistry," Perino said, recalling that two young Fox News Radio staffers then suggested they start a podcast last fall.
"At first I didn't think I had the time, but we gave it a shot and we ended up really liking it," she said, adding that she probably would have been "really good friends in high school" with the self-described political nerd.
"By the time we bothered to check, it had become one of the most popular podcasts in news and politics. We were really surprised and gratified to see that something that was so enjoyable to do was being appreciated by all of these people. That was just a wonderful career moment," he said.
As for the move to TV, he said he hopes the show "will be informative, humane, fun and a bright spot" for Fox News viewers.
"I am the most unlikely host of a television show I can imagine. I have no idea what to do but be myself. Fortunately for me, Dana is the embodiment of poise and grace. She will see us through even if I try to take it into the ditch."
Tune in or set your DVR on Sunday at 5:00pm ET for the premiere episode of "Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What." The show will run each Sunday (5pm ET) through November 13. Plus, check out Fox News Insider for clips and highlights.