Keith Olbermann's 'Countdown' Returns On Current TV
Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" is returning to television on Monday night.
(Check back at 8 PM for live updates about the premiere. Click here to see where to find the show in your area.)
After leaving the network in January, Olbermann quickly signed with Current and set about remaking the tiny network.
Olbermann has been on a lengthy publicity tour for the new edition of "Countdown," and he has not been shy about his wishes for Current TV. He wants it to become a 24-hour news and information channel, complete with robust election coverage and shows that will complement his—rather like MSNBC, his old home. The difference, Olbermann has said, is that Current is not part of a larger conglomerate or corporation.
As he put it in a television ad, "The free flow of information has been thwarted, dissenting voices silenced, and for every story there's a flurry of heavily biased corporate-sponsored spin that can distract even the most engaged viewer."
Olbermann has also announced a heavy-hitting lineup of regular contributors to his show, including Michael Moore and Markos Moulitsas, who will be his first guests on Monday. Others include everyone from John Dean to Richard Lewis to writer Kate Sheppard to actor Donald Sutherland to Ken Burns.
The biggest question surrounding Olbermann's return to television (besides what the show will look like) is how many people he can attract to Current and what kind of new viewer base he can build up for himself. Needless to say, many will be tuning into the network on Monday night to see the grand experiment begin.
'Thank you for helping us preserve freedom of news. Good night, and good luck."
What did you think?
If he consistently takes his show into the 9 PM hour, Olbermann will be effectively going up against the beginning of Rachel Maddow's show. An intriguing development...
"I was under the impression that you were in charge of your own guests," Moulitsas says. "Turns out Joe Scarborough has veto power." Some MSNBC-bashing just sneaks in as the hour ends! (Scarborough also gets called a "loser host.")
But not the show! Olbermann announces that, most every night, the show will go past the hour. As it has.
The banned-from-MSNBC Daily Kos chief talks the GOP.
Now playing video of that Obama impersonator. The racist jokes? Not very funny. The impression? He gets the mannerisms okay, but doesn't do the voice very well.
Complete with organ music!
Bronze: Sarah Palin. Silver: Fox News' Bill Sammon and Chris Wallace. Gold: Some woman flipping out on a cell phone video!
And yes. He throws the paper.
Now playing on O'Reilly: Louis Armstrong singing "When The Saints Go Marching In."
This show is almost exactly, beat for beat, guest for guest, like Olbermann's MSNBC show.
On right-wing radio hosts and their complicated (i.e. monetarily shady) relationship with some think tanks.
"I'm not sure what is happening over there, but the final output audio wave file sounds dull and over compressed." We don't understand quite what he means, but the audio does sound a glitchy.
"Time Marches On!" The successor to Oddball, we guess. YouTube videos galore! Olbermann also says he misses "Beverly Hills, 90120." Don't we all?
"Vanguard: Gateway To Heroin." That looks interesting, and terrifying!
Olbermann's old rival, Bill O'Reilly, is talking to a family therapist. His new one, Lawrence O'Donnell, is talking about taxes. A chyron sweeps across the lower third: Rachel Maddow, on soon to talk about Jon Stewart. Some counter-programming happening, perhaps?
Olbermann turns to the Supreme Court's decision on the Wal-Mart class action lawsuit, and Clarence Thomas' ethical issue.
"This is to be a newscast of contextualization," he says, "and it is to be presented with a viewpoint that the weakest citizen of this country is more important than the strongest corporation." have a viewpoint."
Up next: John Dean.
Seems slightly smaller than the MSNBC set, and has a red, white and blue theme. Pictures ranging from Martin Luther King to President Bush (in "Mission Accomplished" flight suit) line it.
"I'm honored to be your first guest," he says. Are those pictures of Edward R. Murrow we see behind him?
"We really wanted [Obama] to show the right way to do things," Moore says.
First story: Libya. Olbermann not happy about the war (or "conflict") there, or the Obama administration's handling of it.
"As I was saying," Olbermann begins.
Same theme song, same "Which of these stories" intro...
We know much of what is going to be in the premiere of the new "Countdown" because Keith Olbermann told us in a series of tweets. Among the segments: Michael Moore will talk about Libya, John Dean about the Supreme Court and Markos Moulitsas about that weird Obama impersonator. Also, there's a Special Comment and "Worst Persons." Seems a lot like the old show! But we shall see...