And you thought the new “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on Current TV was a one-hour show.
Apparently, it wasn’t – as we learned on Day One last Monday when our DVR cut the show off at the one-hour mark and the show still had several more minutes to go.
It turns out that the runover, which continued all week, annoyed a lot of other people too. And in the face of their complaints – communicated mainly on Twitter this week – Olbermann announced that his new “Countdown” on Current TV (beginning weeknights at 8/7c and, supposedly, ending at 9/8c) would stay within a one-hour time frame from now on.
And it came to light the reason Olbermann was running long was because he and Current hoped to retain viewers who might otherwise bail on his show for the start of “Rachel Maddow” at 9/8c on his old network, MSNBC. It stands to reason that the two shows – which are similar in their liberal approach to commenting on the news – would share viewers.
Still, the strategy surprised some because Olbermann had always seemed to have a close relationship with Maddow, who was a frequent guest on his MSNBC “Countdown” before earning her own show. Whether they’re still friendly couldn’t be determined, although Keith said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the two haven’t spoken since his troubled relationship with MSNBC ended last January.
In his Tweets, Olbermann said he’ll cease running overtime, especially because, as he announced in one of them, Current will “soon have a 9 p.m. companion commentary show,” but he didn’t say who would be the star of that one. One possibility: David Shuster, the former MSNBC anchor who Current has hired as a contributor and substitute anchor for Olbermann.
“But in the interim,” Olbermann tweeted, “there is no reason for me to be overlapping [start new Tweet] with my friend Rachel, nor to ignore the wishes of those who’ve been so loyal to both of us for so long. We’ve heard you: as of [start new Tweet] tomorrow night, ‘Countdown’ finishes at 9. Bonus stuff will instead go to ‘Countdown’ online. Thanks for upsiding my head on this.”
And all is calm in Keith Olbermann Land – at least for the moment.