Written by TV

Where’s Current TV’s Big New Show?

In January this year, liberal-leaning TV pundit, Keith Olbermann announced that he was leaving his MSNBC show in the US. He was appearing on a news network that, in some way tries to “balance” the otherwise “fair and balanced” Fox News. Both networks – as they appear from this side of the Atlantic – appear to be full of commentators and blowhards, and don’t really compare with either CNN International or certainly the BBC in terms of range and depth of coverage.
Anyhow, Olbermann announced that he was moving to Current TV, the station set up former Vice President Al Gore. This week his new weekday Countdown show debuted on Current TV. Or rather, it does so in America.
Current is broadcast in three territories – the US, UK and Italy. Most recently Sky Italia kicked the service off its platform after falling out with Current TV in a dispute that it claimed was ratings and revenue based, but that Current argues was directly related to Olbermann joining Current TV. Both sides debated the issue a few weeks ago on Radio 4’s Media Show.
Olbermann’s show has never aired in the UK, so I’ve only really seen it through the lens of The Daily Show, although I’ve watched the odd segment online. It certainly is very US-centric in its outlook, but it covers big issues that effect all of us; let’s face it – what America does tends to effect all of us whether we like it or not. It’s worthwhile knowing what the US is up to.
So I was still very surprised to find that it was not being carried by the UK version of Current TV. Indeed, given all the Italian discussions, it doesn’t seem to be broadcast in Italy either.
I’ve scoured the listings and it’s just not there. Now 8pm Eastern, is 1am UK time – a not particularly popular slot. But even CNN International “treats” us to peak time repeats of Piers Morgan’s show.
Olbermann is quite clearly the biggest investment in programming that Current TV has made to date, and in spite of the US focus of the show, I still find it odd that they’re not making it available in the UK. Are satellite costs so high? It’s not even as though Current TV couldn’t do with some fresh programming.
Instead we get, er, Tim Shaw.
PS. And yes. I do still miss The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Why is nobody broadcasting this nightly?