Friday Night ‘Countdown’ Sacked by Football

Why doesn’t MSNBC air Keith Olbermann’s signature show in west coast primetime on Fridays? It’s complicated

Last Updated: December 9, 2009 @ 4:13 PM

MSNBC is making it a bit tougher for west coast fans of signature series "Countdown" and "The Rachel Maddow Show" to get their fix– at least on Fridays.

The network normally airs its Keith Olbermann newscast live at 5 p.m. PDT, with repeats at 7, 10 and 1 a.m. Monday through Friday. Maddow’s show also gets encores.

But for the past few weeks, those Friday repeats have been replaced by MSNBC’s lurid crime documentaries.

So what gives?

Well, it turns out Olbermann has been taking most Fridays off from "Countdown" during the football season in order to prep for his role as a commentator on NBC’s Sunday football showcase. The show still airs, but with guest hosts (like the awesome, why-doesn’t-this-dude-have-his-own-show-yet Lawrence O’Donnell).

Apparently, someone at MSNBC doesn’t think the guest-hosted episodes of "Countdown" are of enough interest to viewers in the west. Or maybe the ratings for the sub hosts aren’t that great.

But why not air Maddow’s repeats? It could be that switching between crime docs and Maddow makes for an awkward program flow. Whatever the reason, for now at least, west coast fans "Countdown" and Maddow only get one chance to catch MSNBC’s dynamic duo on Fridays.

An MSNBC spokeswoman confirmed the programming move. "We’ve made a temporary scheduling change on Friday nights, starting our ‘doc block’ a little early for the weekend," she told TheWrap.

The good news: Football season is almost over. That should mean Keith and Rachel will be back in west coast primetime on Friday nights soon.

Now, if we could just get MSNBC to air something other than "Lockup" and other docs on the weekend…..