The video: Five months after he abruptly left MSNBC, Keith Olbermann returned to television Monday night, bringing his once-popular program to the "little-watched" Current TV network. Olbermann's new show is a lot like the old one. (Watch part of the show below.) The title remains Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the intro music is the same, and the show still includes the hallmark "Worst Person" segment, and a Special Comment by the liberal host. "Familiar" guests included progressive filmmaker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas. Olbermann's show, which began at 8 p.m., ran about four minutes past 9 p.m., and will continue to run about 63 minutes long in an apparent attempt to undercut MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, which starts at 9 p.m
The reaction: "Some performers might have taken those five months to tinker with their format, rather than reappearing in the summer with the same show, in the same time slot, but on a network with a significantly smaller audience," says Ray Gustini at The Atlantic Wire. "Not Olbermann." Yes, "the first thing you notice about Countdown with Keith Olbermann is its similarity to Countdown with Keith Olbermann," says James Poniewozik at TIME. Besides the "generic" backdrop and "1980s-local-newscast" graphics, Olbermann just "picked up where he left off." Still, the first 58 minutes of the show were "promising," says David Zurawik in The Baltimore Sun. But the closing anti-MSNBC segment with Moulitsas was an exercise in "insider madness, lack of editorial judgment and self-indulgence." If the notoriously thin-skinned Olbermann doesn't rein that in, Current co-founder Al Gore may regret bringing Olbermann on board. Watch clips from Olbermann's new Countdown:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to make classic pulled pork
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
Subscribe to the Week