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Olbermann's 'Countdown' returns on Current TV

By the CNN Wire Staff
Left-wing news personality Keith Olbermann re-launched his show, "Countdown," on Monday.
Left-wing news personality Keith Olbermann re-launched his show, "Countdown," on Monday.
  • Olbermann's first show since leaving MSNBC airs on Monday night
  • His guests include filmmaker Michael Moore and ex-Nixon aide John Dean
  • Olbermann left MSNBC in January, months after being suspended by the network
  • Current TV, co-founded by Al Gore, can be seen in 75 million households

(CNN) -- Nearly five months after signing off from MSNBC, left-wing news personality Keith Olbermann returned to the airwaves Monday with the relaunch of his signature "Countdown" show on Current TV.

While known for generally opposing Republicans and supporting Democrats, Olbermann signaled that both parties would be targets in his "Special Comment," a segment that was also part of his previous show.

"The nation is losing its independence through the malfeasance of one party and the timidity of the other," he said, according to the show's blog.

Still, the early take from the inaugural show suggested it would lean left, as evidenced by one segment labeled "Inside the Republican Cult."

Guests included liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas and John Dean, a former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon and now a conservative critic. Olbermann said he will be a frequent contributor to the show.

Olbermann abruptly left MSNBC in late January after eight years at the news network. In his time there, the former sports news anchor became a favorite of progressives for challenging rivals at Fox News and elsewhere, though he also faced criticism and publicly aired his frustrations with NBC's management.

He signed a deal weeks later with Current Media, a company founded in 2005 by former Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Besides hosting and producing his new prime time nightly news and commentary show, Olbermann is also Current Media's chief news officer and has an equity stake in the company.

The 52-year-old had been suspended from MSNBC for two days in November 2010 after the news website Politico revealed he had made donations to three Democrats .

That includes $2,400 -- the maximum amount that can be given by an individual -- given to the campaign of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in Tucson. He also donated to the campaigns of Senate candidate Jack Conway of Kentucky and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. Conway lost his bid, while Grijalva and Giffords won.

Olbermann's alliance with Current TV is another major transition for a man who, before his time with MSNBC, spent 13 years with the sports network ESPN. Current TV can be seen in more than 75 million households worldwide.