NBC Plans Countdown with Keith Olbermann Anniversary Special

NBC will broadcast an anniversary special commemorating five years of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the top-rated program on sister channel MSNBC.

NBC will air the Countdown special March 30 at 7 p.m.

The network hopes to expand the program’s audience by giving broadcast viewers a look at the show. 

last appeared on NBC in a special edition slated before Sunday Night Football last August. That special did not score with viewers, finishing fourth in its timeslot and garnering an audience of only 1.3 million. 

Despite saying that he approached the first NBC Countdown as a "one-shot deal," Olbermann said in a conference call last year that he would not rule out another appearance on the parent network in the future. With the fifth-anniversary special scheduled, Olbermann will get a second chance to make an impact with broadcast viewers.

"When we started this five years ago, I told a reporter that our charge was to stay out of the way of the news: 'News is the news. We will not be screwing around with it,'" Olbermann said in announcing the anniversary special. "We held true to that promise -- we just screwed around with everything about its presentation and interpretation. And I'm delighted by the results and honored by the incredible loyalty of those viewers who join me each night."

Beginning March 31, Countdown will feature some of the highlights from the five years of the show, including Olbermann’s first “special comment” about then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the show’s re-enactment of the Larry Craig fiasco.