8:17am PT by Erik Hayden
CNN's 'Crossfire' to Debut One Week Earlier to Cover Syria
CNN is resurrecting Crossfire earlier than expected.
On Sunday, the network said that the political debate show would return Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. instead of debuting one week later at that time. "We've been doing rehearsals, the set is ready, the hosts are ready," Sam Feist, CNN's Washington bureau chief, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The decision to push forward the debut was made Saturday afternoon after President Obama's remarks on Syria and in anticipation of a Congressional debate on the use of force, Feist explained.
"CNN is the only cable news channel that hasn't picked sides in the national political conversations, we don't pick sides on elections and we don't pick sides on controversial issues," he said. "In many ways, CNN is the only cable news channel that can actually hosts a program like Crossfire."
The show -- which will be hosted by Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones -- was a long-running staple on CNN until it was canceled in early 2005. A infamous segment that featured Daily Show host Jon Stewart admonishing then hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson had aired months earlier.
The new iteration of Crossfire will be a half-hour panel discussion program that includes multiple guests along with its right and left leaning hosts. "As in most issues, the truth frequently lies somewhere in the middle," Feist explained. "So in any debate we lay out both sides for the viewers and give them an opportunity to decide for themselves who's right."
Talking with Wolf Blitzer earlier this summer, Gingrich promised that the show will be "the place to be if you want to hear people really talk about the facts and the issues, not just about talking points and yelling at each other."