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The Green Carpet: Hollywood

Can Keith Olbermann Fire Up Al Gore's Current TV?

The former MSNBC pundit is taking over as Chief News Officer for the former Vice President.


keith olbermann

Inside a posh New York City restaurant frequented by the media elite, Al Gore celebrates his big get for Current TV -- ousted MSNBC's loudest voice, Keith Olbermann. "[He] is a gifted thinker, an amazing talent and a powerful communicator," says Current TV's Chairman Gore about his newest employee. "In a world where there are fewer and fewer opportunities to hear truly distinct, unfettered voices on television, we are delighted to provide Keith with the independent platform and freedom that Current can, and does uniquely offer."

"Now Olbermann will really never be seen or heard," snorts one radio talk show host, referring to Current TV's scant viewership -- Nielsen reports the channel gets as little as 25,000 viewers. Still, Gore hopes that Olbermann's new post as the company's Chief News Officer, along with his equity stake in Current Media, will bolster ratings. "Among his many talents, he has an eye for what works, what doesn't, who would be good on his show and potentially doing other shows," Gore tells reporters in a conference call.

At this week's upfronts, where TV executives showcase new programming for advertisers, the Olbermann news bought Current some much-needed currency. The channel's new shows are inspiring, especially for viewers who want what Current TV CEO Mark Rosenthal refers to as, "real reality programming, not scripted reality programming." Current TV seeks to open minds, spark conversations and form a deep connection with its viewers. Must-see meaningful TV? A noble concept, perhaps even Paddy Chayefsky would've approved.

While waiting for Olbermann's new show to debut (possibly in May), check out some of Current TV's other offerings:

Vanguard
News show where correspondents tackle the hot issues, think: immigration, teenage drug use and tobacco.

This American Life
Host Ira Glass travels America to find the quirky and compelling stories, from a cloned bull to a man who paints Jesus.

4th and Forever
Docu-series about a Long Beach, CA high school football program that spawns more NFL players than any other school.

Smoke Jumpers
Docu-series spotlights the elite special forces of wildfire fighting.

Man Vs. Earth
Can we predict and prevent natural disasters? Explorer Sam Branson investigates.

Bar Karma
From legendary Sims/Sims City creator Will Wright, the crowdsourced series invites viewers to drive the story by choosing key characters and storylines.

50 Greatest Documentaries
Countdown to the films that have shaped our world these past 30 years. (Bet An Inconvenient Truth makes the cut.)

Current TV is available via cable and satellite: in the U.S. through distribution partners Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish Network; in the UK and Ireland on BSkyB and Virgin Media; in Italy on Sky Italia; or online at www.current.com.

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Tommi Lewis Tilden

Tommi Lewis Tilden

Tommi Lewis Tilden has worked as an editor for several notable media outlets including Disney Publishing, Teen magazine and TV Guide. The Los Angeles-based editor, journalist and book author is also actively involved in environmental efforts including Tree People and Heal the Bay.
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Tommi's eco awareness has long encompassed her work (e.g. while editor at TEEN she researched environmentally friendly printing), as well as her personal life (she's a proud Hybrid owner and her home sports solar panels).

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