Countdown with Keith Olbermann was an hour-long weeknight news and political commentary program hosted by Keith Olbermann that aired on MSNBC from 2003-2011 and Current TV from 2011-2012. The show presented five selected news stories of the day, with commentary by Olbermann and interviews of guests. At the start of Countdown, Olbermann told television columnist Lisa de Moraes:
"Our charge for the immediate future is to stay out of the way of the news.... News is the news. We will not be screwing around with it.... As times improve and the war [in Iraq] ends we will begin to introduce more and more elements familiar to my style."
The show was known for Olbermann's fast-paced rhetoric, historical and pop culture references, and liberal commentary. Olbermann melded news stories, both serious and light, with commentary, much of it critical of Republicans and conservative politics. The show has been the source of controversy due to these criticisms, as well as the host's ongoing commentary against Fox News and his feud with its leading primetime personality, Bill O'Reilly.
During the January 21, 2011, edition of Countdown, Olbermann announced that it would be his last appearance on the show, but gave no explanation why. The New York Times reported the following day that Olbermann had negotiated his exit from MSNBC, with a secret deal. After being hired by Current TV, Olbermann announced on April 26, 2011, that his nightly news program on the new network would begin June 20, 2011, and would also be called Countdown with Keith Olbermann. On March 30, 2012, Current TV terminated its relationship with Olbermann and replaced his show with a program hosted by Eliot Spitzer.