Current TV has announced the name and premiere date for former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s upcoming program.
The name will probably look familiar to many viewers. Why? Because it will be called “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
The new “Countdown” will debut on Current TV Monday, June 20th.
As Olbermann notes in a video on his FOK News Channel website, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That, and apparently NBCUniversal did not trademark the “Countdown” name.
In January, it was announced that Olbermann would be leaving MSNBC. Just two and a half weeks later, Current TV announced it had signed Olbermann to a new deal, giving him a primetime show, oversight of its news division, and an equity stake in the channel.
The day after the announcement, Current held its upfront presentation, where it laid out its primetime programming strategy, led by Olbermann.
Originally Olbermann’s program was slated to debut in “late Spring,” and technically the new show does so, seeing as the first day of Summer is June 21st, 2011. Nonetheless, the start date is later than many fans were probably expecting. The time allows Olbermann to staff up his program, as well as construct a set, etc.
The official announcement, from Current TV, is below.
CURRENT TV UNVEILS NAME, DEBUT DATE FOR NEW KEITH OLBERMANN SHOW
“COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN” TO PREMIERE ON JUNE 20
AIRING EACH WEEK NIGHT AT 8 P.M. ET, “COUNTDOWN” WILL BE THE TV HOME FOR OLBERMANN’S UNIQUE VOICE AND COMMENTARY, ONLY ON INDEPENDENTLY OWNED CURRENT TV
NEW YORK – April 26, 2011 – Current TV, the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning TV and digital network, will premiere its much-anticipated week-nightly commentary show with Keith Olbermann, the acclaimed broadcaster, writer and commentator, on June 20, 2011 AT 8 p.m. ET.
The show, to be called “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” marks the return to the airwaves for Olbermann, one of journalism’s most provocative and outspoken voices, on independently-owned Current, which was founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt and is now distributed in more than 75 million households around the world.
Olbermann’s decision to join Current was announced in February. In addition to executive producing and hosting his show, Olbermann was appointed as Current’s Chief News Officer.
At the time of the announcement, Olbermann said, “Nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference. In Current Media, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have created the model truth-seeking entity. The opportunity to partner with Al, Joel and Mark Rosenthal makes this the most exciting venture in my career.”
“’Countdown to Keith Olbermann’ will showcase the return to television of one of America’s most gifted thinkers and communicators,” said Joel Hyatt, co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Current. “Keith will be back, speaking truth to power and calling them as he sees them– but this time, on America’s only independent news and information TV network.”
“The show will combine familiar and popular features with some new elements that we can’t wait to unveil,” said Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current. “We’re creating a great platform for Keith’s style, which includes a very sophisticated digital presence for him — that we think will appeal to his very enthusiastic and active following. The show will also appeal to new viewers tuning into Keith for the first time.“
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” leads a programming slate on Current that includes original and acquired TV series aimed at an influential adult audience. The network’s original, long-form programming includes “4th and Forever,” the documentary series premiering May 26th at 9 p.m. ET, about the extraordinary players, coaches and families behind the Long Beach Poly football program (which has sent more players to the NFL than any high school in the country).
Current features compelling stories about everyday heroes and ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and takes you to sometimes dangerous and always intriguing places. Current shines a light on controversial subjects, tackling hot issues of the day in a thoughtful and sometimes humorous way. Current engages its viewers by sparking debate and discussion, and via interactive formats that allow viewers to inform its stories.
About Current Media:
Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, engages viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming –stories that no one else is telling in ways that no one else is telling them. Current’s programming shines a light where others won’t dare and boldly explores important subjects — opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. The channel’s audience is comprised of affluent, curious, social and connected adults who crave the kind of entertaining, enlightening, witty and informative programming found on Current’s TV and online properties. Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 75 million households worldwide – 60 million households in the US – through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner; DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon and AT&T. In the UK and Ireland, Current is available on BSkyB (Channel 183) and Virgin Media (Channel 155), and in Italy, Current is available on Sky Italia (Channel 130). Viewers can also find Current online at www.current.com.