NEW YORK — Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will host a new nightly political talk show on Current TV as the progressive cable network continues its rebuilding of its prime-time lineup.
"The War Room with Jennifer Granholm" will premiere in January at 9 p.m. Eastern time, following "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," Current announced on Wednesday.
The program will feature commentary by political insiders, opinion leaders and newsmakers.
"I'm really interested in solutions," Granholm said. "We'll be taking a deeper dive to solutions to the most pressing problems out there.
"Yes, I'm progressive," she said. "I'm on the left end of the spectrum. But I've also had to be a pragmatic governor, and can explain what that's like in dealing with a Republican legislature — and how important compromise is."
Granholm, a Democrat, was the first woman to be elected governor in Michigan and served two terms beginning in 2003. She is a contributor to NBC's "Meet the Press," and recently co-authored "A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future" with her husband, Dan Mulhern. In that book they focus on how the changes forced on Michigan can be examples of what the nation must do to compete in a global economy.
Asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement, which claims that 1 percent of the nation's population is getting rich at the expense of the rest of America, Granholm said the protests are "a primal scream for somebody to do something. I think it's really important for democracy that it's happening, and I'm glad that Current has been covering it. It's a very important movement for Current to be part of."
Granholm is now teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, near Current's San Francisco headquarters, from which her show will originate. Current Chairman Al Gore called her "one of the most insightful, intelligent and effective leaders that I have ever worked with," adding, "The political process today is a very different game, and having someone who knows that from the inside, and understands the realities of the elective process, will be a unique advantage" for the network.
"I sincerely believe if she had not been born in Canada, she would have been a leading candidate for president of the United States," Gore said.
Current began re-building its prime-time slate with last June's premiere of Olbermann's show, which had previously aired on MSNBC.
Then, last month, the network announced that online talk-show host Cenk Uygur will bring his show, "The Young Turks," to its prime-time lineup by year-end. "The Young Turks" is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Planning is under way for further revamping in daytime, said Current president David Bohrman, but the network wanted to lock in its evening hours first as the 2012 campaign heats up.
"We have to catch the election wave," he said.
"If you took these three shows together," said Gore, "you could describe it as 'Occupy Prime Time.'"
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