Keith Olbermann Delivers Blow to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

8:33 PM PST 06/20/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The Current TV personality plans to run his new show into the 9 p.m. hour every night, potentially eating into her ratings.

Keith Olbermann isn't playing nice when it comes to his competition.

The former MSNBC personality debuted his new Current TV show at 8 p.m. Monday night, and he intentionally let the program run over into the 9 p.m. hour -- the same time period occupied by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Olbermann's one-time mentee. And it seems that this is the permanent plan.

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"Good news, bad news: @ConanOBrien cameo postponed. On the other hand, did I mention #Countdown on @Current goes LONGER THAN JUST AN HOUR?" Olbermann tweeted Monday night after the Countdown With Keith Olbermann premiere.

Countdown actually ran four minutes past 9 p.m.

 

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He later added: "That's right, we Supersized Countdown...stay tuned..."

The move is a potential blow to Maddow as it could eat into her ratings.

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Still, Maddow might not be shaking in her seat just yet: Current TV is in only 60 million homes, via digital tiers, while MSNBC is in 95 million homes.

And some Olbermann fans noted on Twitter on Monday night that they don't get Current TV in their house.

Incidentally, Olbermann said last week in an interview on NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last week that he'd like to see Maddow come to Current once her contract is up.

But in an interview for a recent cover story in The Hollywood Reporter, he admitted that his split with MSNBC was so bad he still has not spoken to Maddow since his abrupt exit in January.

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"There were lots of people who were forced to choose sides," he said. "And particularly in Rachel's case, I didn't want to add to the pressure on her already. The last thing I need to do is be calling her up and saying, 'How's that Michael Steele working out for you?' [He signed to NBC as a political analyst May 23.] Which is exactly what I would do if I were in the office."

After his show premiered Monday, Olbermann also tweeted a thank-you to his viewers.

"The Countdown @Current staff toasts you, in thanks for your support and your loyalty!" along with this photo of him and the staff.

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