Fox News announces Republican debates

Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:33pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Get ready for more Mitt, Michele, Herman and Rick.

Fox News will host two additional Republican presidential debates in Iowa and South Carolina in the upcoming months, the cable news network announced on Thursday.

The televised debates will come in the key primary states of Iowa and South Carolina, giving the candidates a high-profile platform on which to grin, quip and flaunt their conservative bona fides.

The Iowa debate will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center on December 15th from 9:00-11:00 PM/ET, in conjunction with the Iowa Republican Party.

Additionally, Fox News will host a debate with the Republican Party of South Carolina at Myrtle Beach Convention Center on January 16th from 9:00-11:00 PM/ET.

The timing is key. Iowa has scheduled its Republican caucus for January 3 and South Carolina has set January 21 as the date for its primary. Those dates may change, as a number of key states have been threatening to move their primaries earlier in the election calendar.

Regardless of what happens with primary scheduling, the hunt for the GOP nomination has been a ratings winner for Fox and its competitors. Last Tuesday's Las Vegas debate delivered 5.5 million total viewers for CNN and 1.6 million in the coveted adults 25-54 demographic.

However, Fox News has been the ratings winner. The channel's September 22 debate coverage logged 6.1 million total viewers and 1.7 million in the 25-54 demographic.

Both debates will be moderated by special report anchor Bret Baier on Fox News Channel (FNC) and live-streamed on YouTube.com/Fox News, in addition to Fox News Radio, Fox News Mobile, and FoxNews.com.

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