June 26th, 2013
09:11 AM ET
5 years ago

‘Crossfire’ coming back to CNN

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.”

Filed under: CNN • Crossfire
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Ace

    Is john stewart going to come on and make fun of everyone so the show ends?

    June 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. ST

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. 546pol

    Funny how they don't mention jon stewart.

    Just sayin

    June 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Craig Anderson

    I thought Jon Stewart got rid of this show a few years back! 🙂

    June 26, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Trueliberal9

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Ramsey

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Zac

    What's Newt gonna be doing there? Shooting CNN's ratings to the Moon?

    June 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Jimbo

    Why did you guys have to put Newt back on television? He's irrelevant.

    June 26, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Az

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I'm not a CNN watcher, but I'll watch this show just to see that bad mama jama Stephanie Cutter.

    June 26, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. Collin Roche

    Can't wait for Stewart to come back on and shut this show down (again) before it's first year after reboot.

    June 26, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. GetOverIt

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Anon

    Will this new Crossfile also be mocked by a guy with a show whose lead in are talking socks?

    June 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Mike

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. sally

    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

    June 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Galen King

    No Tucker Carlson? John Stewart approves.

    June 26, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Josh

    Jon stewart hasn't even been gone for a month...

    June 26, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Kenneth C. Krieger

    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

    June 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. name

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. texaspm

    John Stewart will be watching. Make this show a public service, not a partisan pandering platform.

    June 26, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. B. Frank

    I thought John Stewart buried this travesty.

    Will not watch.

    June 26, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. John

    TIme for Jon Stewart to go back on and terminate the show again.

    June 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. bschleier

    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!

    June 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Lord Toronaga

    Get rid of the fool Newt Gingrich. He does not represent anyone but himself. We republicans have had enough of stupid.

    June 26, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. jammingwithedward

    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.

    June 26, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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