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TV Review: Current TV's 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann'

Countdown with Keith Olbermann premiered on Current TV Monday night at 8 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“The biggest differences with the MSNBC version of Countdown were cosmetic. The production level at Current is decidedly a step down, and even though the show itself was largely unchanged, the generic New York backdrop and the graphics had a 1980s-local-newscast look to them; the sound mix was erratic on the first night too, a hitch that hopefully can be improved with practice.” — James Poniewozik, TIME

“The onscreen graphics are cleaner, stripped of the news crawls and hyperactivity that litter the edges of a cable news channel, while Olbermann and company act as if they have all the time in the world to yap. It’s somewhere between a tape of Tom Snyder and the old Countdown; a certain sharpness had not conveyed in Monday’s episode.” — Hank Stuever, The Washington Post

“Olbermann’s chat with contributor Markos Moulitsas, blogger and founder of the Daily Kos, was really off-putting, as they talked inside baseball about Moulitsas having been banned from MSNBC. Let’s hope Olbermann doesn’t spend a lot of time trashing his former network from his new perch.” Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“[W]ith only a few minutes left, Olbermann, who behaved like a professional broadcaster most of the night, teed it up for contributor Markos Moulitsas to tear into on-air talent and management at MSNBC, Olbermann’s last TV home. And all bets for a new and improved, socially responsible Countdown were off.” — David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun

“[C]ertainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O’Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant über-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that ‘the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation.’” — Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times