The Rachel Maddow Show

The Rachel Maddow Show Information

The Rachel Maddow Show (also abbreviated TRMS) is a daily news and opinion television program that airs on MSNBC, running in the 9:00 pm ET timeslot. It is hosted by Rachel Maddow, who gained popularity with her frequent appearances as a liberal pundit on various MSNBC programs. It is based on her former radio show of the same name. The show debuted on September 8, 2008.


Keith Olbermann, then host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, was Maddow's first guest on her debut show, and has been given credit for pushing for Maddow to get her own show. Prior to getting her own show, Maddow had served as regular guest host for Countdown when Olbermann was absent. The Rachel Maddow Show replaced Verdict with Dan Abrams.


The Rachel Maddow Show is broadcast from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

Current segments

Maddow invites a variety of commentators and newsmakers onto the show to discuss the day's news. Frequent segments include:

  • TRMS Tonight: Maddow opens the show, briefly detailing the issues the show will cover in the following hour.
  • The Interview: Maddow interviews a guest about a particular story.
  • Debunktion Junction: A fact-checking segment. Maddow presents several statements or claims from current news and asks "True or false?" She then judges the claim as "true" (with a bell) or "false" (with a buzzer).
  • Moment of Geek: Maddow provides information on a subject usually related to science, math, or other potentially "geeky" subjects.
  • The Best New Thing in the World Today: Occasionally, at the close of the show, Maddow presents a heart-warming item such as a quirky news piece or video.
  • Cocktail Moment: Maddow makes a cocktail in the studio. This segment is usually done on a Friday.
  • The Ezra Klein Challenge: Guest host Ezra Klein attempts to explain a traditionally difficult or "boring" topic in two minutes or less.
  • GOP in Exile: Maddow reports on the activities of the Republican Party. This 2009 segment was reprised after the 2012 US election.

Former segments

  • IntimiNation: Maddow reports on violence and threats of violence by right-wing extremists in the U.S.
  • It's Pat: Maddow debates Pat Buchanan, whom she refers to as her "fake uncle," on a topic. The name "It's Pat" was taken from the Saturday Night Live sketch and film of the same name.
  • Just Enough: Maddow runs down a few pop culture stories with Kent Jones.
  • Lame Duck Watch: Between the 2008 US election and Obama's inauguration, Maddow commented on President Bush's last actions in office, because "somebody has to do it." The segment restarted on November 9, 2010 to cover the lame duck sessions of the 111th Congress. In 2008, the segment started with the theme "Hail to the Chief." In 2010, the segment started with incoming Speaker John Boehner yelling, "Hell no you can't!".
  • Life During Wartime: Maddow reports on news about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the beginning of the segment, there is a sign saying "This Way Out?" on the screen.
  • Ms. Information: Maddow discusses news stories she feels have been under-reported, referring to them as "Holy Mackerel" stories. During the appearance of a male guest host, the segment was instead titled Mr. Information.
  • Pin the Debt on the Donkey: An infrequent game show-style segment where Rachel has two contestants (one is usually Kent Jones) answer questions wrongly (on purpose) about the records of former Presidents regarding increasing the National Debt.
  • Rachel Re:: Maddow provides an extended commentary on a topic.
  • Scrub. Rinse. Repeat: Maddow comments on issues that President Bush left behind.
  • Talk Me Down: Maddow elaborates on an issue that concerns her and then brings in an expert to discuss
  • TMI: Maddow and Kent Jones "investigate" representatives and senators who have been recently talked about.
  • The Weak in Review: Maddow and Kent Jones cover "outstanding achievements in public lame-itude". Sometimes replaces "Just Enough" on Friday editions of the show.

Live audience shows

The series has occasionally aired in front of theatre audiences, including the 92nd Street Y on December 20"22, 2010, the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas on February 23, 2011, and the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana on February 5, 2010 (to mark the impending Super Bowl XLIV game featuring the New Orleans Saints under the name "The Rachel Maddeaux Sheaux").

Guest hosts

  • Ana Marie Cox " September 4, 2009
  • Howard Dean " November 24, 2009
  • Melissa Harris-Perry " Regular replacement prior to the launch of Melissa Harris-Perry.
  • Chris Hayes " Regular replacement prior to the launch of Up with Chris Hayes.
  • Arianna Huffington "? November 17, 2008
  • Ezra Klein " Frequent guest host as of 2012.
  • Lawrence O'Donnell " November 23, 2009
  • Andrea Mitchell " April 2, 2009
  • David Shuster " October 12, 2009
  • Alison Stewart "? November 18"19, 2008; February 23, 2009; June 29"30/July 1, 2009; August 24"25, 2009; October 13"14, 2009
  • Bill Wolff " December 30, 2010

Ratings and reviews

The Rachel Maddow Show debuted on September 8, 2008, with 1,543,000 viewers (483,000 of whom were in the 25"54 demographic). Early reviews for her show were mostly positive. Los Angeles Times writer, Matea Gold stated that Maddow, "finds the right formula on MSNBC", while The Guardian writes Maddow has become the "star of America's cable news". Associated Press columnist, David Bauder called her "[Keith] Olbermann's political soul mate" and referred to the Olbermann/Maddow shows as a "liberal two-hour block". The New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley opined, "Her program adds a good-humored female face to a cable news channel whose prime time is dominated by unruly, often squabbling schoolboys; Ms. Maddow's deep, modulated voice is reassuringly calm after so much shrill emotionalism and catfights among the channel's aging, white male divas".

On September 16, 2008, the show drew 1,801,000 viewers (with 534,000 in the 25"54 demographic), beating Larry King Live and becoming the highest-rated MSNBC show of the night. Maddow's ratings success on September 16, 2008 prompted many of her MSNBC colleagues on Morning Joe to congratulate her on the air, including Joe Scarborough, who said it was "just one of those times where good people do well." In the month of March 2009 the average number of viewers dropped to 1.1 million, part of a general trend in the ratings decline for cable news programs. During the third quarter of 2009, the show was ranked in third place behind Fox News's Hannity and CNN's Larry King Live. The average total number of viewers for the show's airtimes during this period was 992,000.

During the first quarter of 2010, Maddow's show pulled well ahead of Larry King Live, regularly beating the show in overall and primetime ratings, becoming the second highest-rated program in its time slot, behind only Fox News's Hannity. The show continued its lead during the second quarter of 2010, staying well ahead of CNN's Larry King Live for the third consecutive quarter, and topping the show in both primetime and overall ratings.

In September 2012, Maddow viewership in the 25"54 demographic topped that of Hannity on Monday and Tuesday and in the demographic's daily average for the week, though not in the week's cumulative viewership for the time slot. The week was MSNBC's strongest since February 2009. At the time, the network regularly ranked "a distant second" to Fox News viewership.

In May 2013, the show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second-lowest with adults 25-54 (210,000). Maddow was topped by both FNC's Hannity and CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.

Awards and nominations

  • In 2011, the Rachel Maddow Show won a News and Documentary Emmy in the Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis category for the segment, "Good Morning, Landlocked Central Asia".
  • In March 2010, Maddow won at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in the category, Outstanding TV Journalism"?Newsmagazine for her segment, "Uganda Be Kidding Me".
  • The Rachel Maddow Show has been nominated 2 times for a Television Critics Award in the "Outstanding Achievement in News & Information" category.
  • Maddow also took home a Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award for her work in covering religion and politics.
  • The show took home the Planned Parenthood Maggie Award for exceptional news coverage of reproductive rights and health care issues.
  • In 2012, the Rachel Maddow show was nominated for News and Documentary Emmy in the Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis category for the segment, "Know Nukes"

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