Washington (CNN) – An institution is coming back to CNN.
“Crossfire,” the long-running political debate show that aired on CNN from 1982-2005, is getting a reboot, the news network announced Wednesday. Four new hosts – two on the left, and two on the right - will debut the program this fall.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who made a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, will host on the right alongside S.E. Cupp, the conservative columnist who currently co-anchors “The Cycle,” a television program on MSNBC.
On the left, President Barack Obama’s former deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter will host next to Van Jones, another former Obama adviser who later founded Rebuild the Dream, a group that fosters innovative economic policy.
The foursome will also appear on CNN during special coverage of political events and elections.
Debuting two years after the founding of CNN, “Crossfire” was originally hosted by conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Tom Braden. Later its hosts included Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, James Carville, Paul Begala and Bill Press. Also joining the list of notable co-hosts were former New Hampshire Gov, John Sununu, Michael Kinsley, Republican strategist Mary Matalin, and 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. The nation’s top political figures were guests on the show, as were a slate of preeminent entertainers, sports stars and business leaders.
“Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did – it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” Jeff Zucker, CNN Worldwide’s president, said Wednesday. “We look forward to the opportunity to host passionate conversation from all sides of the political spectrum. Crossfire will be the forum where America holds its great debates.”
During its more than twenty year run, “Crossfire” became must-see-T.V. for politicians and political observers alike. In 1997 – during Gingrich’s own tenure as House speaker – President Bill Clinton joked about the program’s longevity during his speech to that year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner.
Clinton remarked the first episode was hosted “From the left, Alexander Hamilton, from the right, Aaron Burr. Topic - gun control.”
Wednesday’s announcement comes after a slate of new programming for CNN, including a recently launched morning show “New Day,” and the afternoon, Washington-based program “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
After getting those shows off the ground, “We felt it was the right time to turn our attention next to Crossfire,” said Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN. “This will be the next step in reinvigorating our lineup of live programs.”
Is john stewart going to come on and make fun of everyone so the show ends?
Bravo CNN for reviving Programmes we use to enjoy. BUT be careful with the people you bring in from the right, they can make it a bit or more annoying Programme. Remember those days, people in the Programme were more sensible.
Funny how they don't mention jon stewart.
I thought Jon Stewart got rid of this show a few years back! :)
political news is all CNN is good for, the new CNN president is going to destroy CNN like he did NBC. Can't wait for aljazeera to start. They actually show news.
Oh good....political hacks and spin doctors yelling about topics as if the country isn't divided enough as it is. Please say the first guest will be Jon Stewart so this horrible concept can get killed again before it starts.
What's Newt gonna be doing there? Shooting CNN's ratings to the Moon?
Why did you guys have to put Newt back on television? He's irrelevant.
Was a good show, very enlightening. sound bites from either side were not left hanging as facts but were expose for what they were by the opponents.
I'm not a CNN watcher, but I'll watch this show just to see that bad mama jama Stephanie Cutter.
Can't wait for Stewart to come back on and shut this show down (again) before it's first year after reboot.
Please invite Jon Stewart on so he can again point out how shows like this are responsible for the lack of compromise and collegiality that we see in our current political discourse.
Will this new Crossfile also be mocked by a guy with a show whose lead in are talking socks?
This has the billing to be even worse than the original Crossfire. You really sucked then CNN, now you're even worse. Rebooting an old show that flamed out in shame is not going to help your busch league network.
I still remember all the nasty hateful things Newt said when he was running for office, so why in the world would I turn to CNN to watch Crossfire with Newt on the panel. Another failure by CNN. I thought SC Cupp was on MSNBC
No Tucker Carlson? John Stewart approves.
Jon stewart hasn't even been gone for a month...
Crossfire should remember that "the left is not right and the right is not right, every issue is right or wrong, not left and right". Kenneth Krieger Cape Coral, Florida
Can your first guest be Jon Stewart? I think it would be great if he killed the show before it makes us rip our ears off.
John Stewart will be watching. Make this show a public service, not a partisan pandering platform.
I thought John Stewart buried this travesty.
Will not watch.
TIme for Jon Stewart to go back on and terminate the show again.
The original show was great....had the greatest one line from a political show by Pat Buchanan when giving his final word on a show on evolution. He looked at Tom Braden with a straight face and said–"You may have evolved from monkeys, but I sure didn't." Classic!
Get rid of the fool Newt Gingrich. He does not represent anyone but himself. We republicans have had enough of stupid.
How can I forget Frank Zappa's legendary appearance on Crossfire? Next they should bring back Ted Turner
after Time Warner ran the network into the ground.