It was like the return of an old friend on Current TV tonight, as Keith Olbermann returned with a Special Comment and Worst Persons. In case you missed it, here’s the video.
Here is Olbermann’s Special Comment:
Here are Worst Persons:
A few observations about Countdown Current style:
— Countdown had the look and feel of the same show, and technically it was presented well except for some audio issues with Olbermann and Michael Moore’s mics. For a first night broadcast on a network that has zero experience doing this kind of programming, it was good.
— The most noticeable difference was that the new Countdown is being done with fewer resources. There was a bit less of the cable news flashy graphics, and the lack of newsroom resources was noticeable. In some ways though this is an advantage, Olbermann wanted an independent program, and his show is certainly missing the gloss of big time cable news. Consider it indy cred. As Current grows, it will probably look less like early days ESPN, and more like the network it is aiming to compete with.
— Olbermann unfettered was a lot like Olbermann fettered. On night one, Keith was mostly the same old Keith. Anyone who was expecting a wild change in the unchained Olbermann will be sorely disappointed, but for those viewers who consider KO to be an old 8 PM friend who joins them in their living rooms Monday-Friday, this was a welcome reunion.
—Before the program even aired, Olbermann was trying to tamp down ratings expectations. It would be unfair to expect Countdown to pull in big numbers, given the small number of homes that the network is available in. However, Olbermann is almost certain to be Current’s most watched program ever. Olbermann will improve the network, which is why they brought him in.
—With programs like Countdown, it is all about the host. They could have put Olbermann in a broom closet and had him spend his first hour interviewing a mop, and it would have been pleasing to his viewers. The look of the set may have changed and the network may be different but Olbermann is still Olbermann, and that’s why people tune in.