On Monday night at 11, Keith Olbermann—formerly of MSNBC and Al Gore's now-defunct Current TV—returned to his roots with a new show on ESPN2. The program, simply titled "Olbermann" sees the remarkably verbose broadcaster covering sports again following a long sojourn into politics, particularly on MSNBC. But tonight, Olbermann brought some throwbacks.
The new show features standard highlights and interviews, but also comes with a nostalgia factor, playing off of Olbermann's rich history at the network. Olbermann hosted the very first episode of the very first show to appear on ESPN2 when the network debuted in 1993, famously quipping (while wearing a leather jacket), "Welcome to the end of my career." From The New York Times' preview, the new show includes:
...a playful interlude tentatively titled “This Week in Keith History,” with clips of Mr. Olbermann from “SportsCenter,” from 1992 to 1997, that he has not seen in advance. His job will be to react amusingly.
Producers have shown five clips of “Keith History” in rehearsals, and Mr. Olbermann said he had remembered only two of them. “Reactions I’ve shown are disgust and amazement,” he said, “and I’ve had the bad taste to laugh at my old jokes.”
So, Keith Olbermann's show is called "Olbermann" and features a segment where he watches clips of himself. It seems like Olbermann is certainly inviting his loyal fans to come for the Keith, and maybe stick around for the sports.
In addition, Olbermann, brought over his "Worst Person In The World" segment from "Countdown." Congratulations to Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, the segment's inaugural target on the new network, who is currently under fire following reports that he has engineered his baseball team to terrible on the field in exchange for being massively profitable off it. (Crane responded earlier today.)
Deadline described it as a mostly standard affair, although one thing was missing: "During his appearance at the TCA Summer Press Tour last month, Olbermann promised to work 'Carlos Danger' into opening night. He didn’t." Dang, that would have been topical.
Keith Olbermann & Jason Whitlock have spent 20 straight minutes telling us how awful & inept the media is - on the station that runs sports.— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 27, 2013
Keith Olbermann and Jason Whitlock are the best post-ironic performance artists I've ever seen.— EL (@TheTomasRios) August 27, 2013
I'm happy @KeithOlbermann has a TV show again he is seriously one of the best guys in the country at hosting tv shows— Alex Pareene (@pareene) August 27, 2013
@pareene It might be that this is the smartest news program I've watched today, and I watched four hours of 24-hour news networks earlier.— Jeb Lund (@Mobute) August 27, 2013
"I've done all the damage I can do for one night." @KeithOlbermann ends his first ESPN2 show with "Good night, and good luck."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 27, 2013
Of course he did.