New York City, March 25 - The Fox News Channel has announced that it will roll out a new version of its successful political commentary show "Hannity and Colmes", in time for the fall season. Fox's program director Ronald Walker said the show had taken a dip in the ratings, and the proposed changes were intended to get the program back on track.
In a press conference on Friday, Mr. Walker addressed fans of the show, "At Fox we believe in giving our viewers what they want, and we've heard your voice. Hannity and Colmes is going to be better than ever." Mr. Walker said the Fox team had tinkered with nearly every aspect of the program, adding a new segment and even sprucing up the show's title. Said Mr. Walker, "The first major change will be to replace the program's existing moniker, Hannity and Colmes', with the more descriptive Handsome Patriot and Latte Drinking, Weasel-Eyed Abortion Monger.'"
Mr. Walker went on to say that the central theme of the show, providing a balanced treatment of the day's issues from two sides of the political spectrum, will remain unchanged. However, the show will now feature a new set design, as well as an additional fifteen-minute segment at the end of each episode wherein Mr. Hannity will, in Mr. Walker's words, "slap Alan Colmes until he cries."
When asked why the network had decided to add such a seemingly incongruous segment, Mr. Walker said the Fox team saw the new addition as a "logical continuation of the show's existing themes."
Reached for comment about the program's overhaul, co-host Alan Colmes said that he was thrilled about the changes, particularly the inclusion of the final segment. "I think it's a great addition," said Mr. Colmes. "Frankly, I've been getting kind of mouthy lately. Just last week, I had the temerity to criticize our Commander in Chief for breaking federal law with his illegal wiretapping prog er I mean the, um Terrorist-Defeating-Don't-Forget-About-September-11th-Phone-Overhearing-Program'. I just really need to be taken down a peg, and I think Sean is the perfect man for the job."
Fans tuning into the show next season will also see the introduction of a new wardrobe concept for the hosts, each pundit being assigned a uniform of sorts. Mr. Hannity's wardrobe will reportedly consist of nothing more than a large American flag draped over his bronzed physique, and a ten inch long, jewel encrusted crucifix. Mr. Colmes's uniform is slated to include a black beret with a hammer and sickle insignia, or possibly a turban, though the details are apparently still under consideration.
Reached by telephone, Mr. Hannity seemed nonplussed by the changes. When asked how he felt about the new segment with Mr. Colmes and himself, Mr. Hannity replied "Alan who? Oh, you mean that squirrelly looking fellow? I thought he was an intern."