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The Rachel Maddow Show

The Rachel Maddow Show

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 Monday through Friday. It is hosted by Rachel Maddow, who gained a public profile via her frequent appearances as a progressive pundit on programs aired by MSNBC.[1] It is based on her former radio show of the same name. The show debuted on September 8, 2008.[2]

The Rachel Maddow Show
GenrePolitical news/opinion program
Directed byRob Katko
Presented byRachel Maddow
Country of originUnited States
No.of episodes1500+
Executiveproducer(s)Cory Gnazzo
Producer(s)Steve Benen
Production location(s)New York City
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time60 minutes
Original networkMSNBC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 8, 2008 (2008-09-08) –
Preceded byVerdict with Dan Abrams
External links
Website [53]
Production website [54]


Keith Olbermann, then host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, was Maddow's first guest on her debut show,[3] and has been given credit for pushing for Maddow to gain her own show.[4] 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.[5]


The Rachel Maddow Show is broadcast from Studio 3-A at the NBC Studios, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

The broadcast is available on many platforms besides MSNBC, including msnbc.com,[6] audio podcast,[7] video podcast,[8] text transcript,[9] YouTube,[10] and weblog.[11]

The series has occasionally used theater audiences, including the 92nd Street Y in New York City on December 20–22, 2010;[12] the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas, on February 23, 2011;[13] 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").[14]

Guest hosts

  • Ana Marie Cox – September 4, 2009

  • Howard Dean – November 24, 2009

  • Melissa Harris-Perry – regular guest host prior to the launch of Melissa Harris-Perry.

  • Chris Hayes – regular guest host prior to the launch of Up with Chris Hayes (Hayes now precedes Maddow's show with All In with Chris Hayes)

  • Arianna Huffington[1] – November 17, 2008

  • Ezra Klein – frequent guest host throughout 2012

  • Lawrence O'Donnell – November 23, 2009

  • Andrea Mitchell – April 2, 2009

  • David Shuster – October 12, 2009

  • Steve Kornacki – frequent guest host since 2013

  • Alison Stewart[15] – 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

  • Joy-Ann Reid – frequent guest host since 2016

  • Ari Melber – frequent guest host in 2016, 2017 and 2018

  • Nicolle Wallace – frequent guest host in 2018

  • Ali Velshi – guest host in 2018, 2019

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).[16] Early reviews for her show were mostly positive. Los Angeles Times journalist Matea Gold stated that Maddow "finds the right formula on MSNBC",[17] while The Guardian wrote that Maddow has become the "star of America's cable news".[18] Associated Press columnist David Bauder called her Keith Olbermann's "political soul mate" and referred to the Olbermann/Maddow shows as a two-hour "liberal...block".[19] 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."[20]

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.[21] Maddow's ratings success on September 16 prompted 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."[22] 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.[23] 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 that period was 992,000.[24]

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 and[25] becoming the second-highest rated program in its time slot, behind only Fox News's Hannity.[26] 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 achieving higher primetime and overall ratings.[27]

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,[28] though not in the week's cumulative viewership for the time slot.[29] The week was MSNBC's strongest since February, 2009.[28] At the time, the network regularly ranked "a distant second" to Fox News viewership.[30]

In May, 2013, the show delivered its lowest-rated month - 717,000 viewers - since it debuted in September, 2008, and its second-lowest with adults 25–54 with 210,000 viewers in that category. That month TRMS was topped by both FNC's Hannity and CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.[31]

In November, 2013, during the off-year election coverage, Maddow was "up significantly, averaging second place in both measures with 1.267 million viewers and 313,000 adults 25–54." This placed the Maddow Show second, behind Fox News' Megyn Kelly but ahead of CNN's Piers Morgan Live.[32]


Following the November, 2016, election of Donald Trump as president, The Rachel Maddow Show became a leading outlet for criticism of Trump, especially for the allegations that the government of Russia had interfered in the election and had assisted with Trump's presidential campaign. For the week beginning February 13, 2017, Maddow’s 9 p.m. ET show averaged 2.5 million total viewers, giving the host her best single week since just before the 2008 election, when the program pulled in an average of 2.6 million viewers. This also gave the show its second best week ever.[33] In February, 2017, TRMS was watched by the largest number of viewers in the show's 9-year history.[34] Around that time, the show focused more on Russia-related stories than all other issues combined.[35]

On March 14, 2017, Maddow revealed the first two pages of Donald Trump's 2005 federal tax return on the program. The documents were obtained by journalist David Cay Johnston, who was a guest that night.[34] Before the program aired, the White House released a statement acknowledging that Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes in 2005.[36] The White House also accused MSNBC of "violating the law" by discussing Trump's 2005 tax documents.[37]

In March, 2018, The Rachel Maddow Show was America's highest-rated cable news show, besting Fox News' Hannity."Maddow averaged 3.058 million viewers for the month, narrowly topping Hannity’s 3.00 million."[38]

In ratings numbers released in July 2019, the show slipped to fifth pace, with an average of 2.487 million viewers in the overall cable ratings behind Hannity with 3.3 million viewers, Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.1 million viewers, The Ingraham Angle with 2.6 million viewers and The Five with 2.5 million viewers.[39]

Awards and nominations

  • 2017 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Live Interview category for the segment "One-on-One with Kellyanne Conway".[40]

  • 2017 Emmy Award in the Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis category for story "An American Disaster: The Crisis in Flint".[41]

  • 2011 News and Documentary Emmy in the Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis category for the "Good Morning, Landlocked Central Asia" series of shows broadcast from Afghanistan.[42]

  • 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" about the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.[43]

  • The Rachel Maddow Show has been nominated for a Television Critics Award twice in the "Outstanding Achievement in News & Information" category.

  • Maddow received the Interfaith Alliance's 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award for her "passionate coverage of the intersection of religion and politics" that "exhibits a strong personal intellect coupled with constitutional sensitivity to the proper boundaries between religion and government."[44][45][46]

  • The show received one of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's 2010 Maggie Awards for Media Excellence "for its coverage of the health care reform debate, the murder of Dr. George Tiller and the anti-abortion movement."[47]

  • In 2012, The Rachel Maddow Show was nominated for News and Documentary Emmy in the Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis category for the "Know Nukes" segment.[48]


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Citation Linkwww.huffingtonpost.comGraham, Nicholas (September 8, 2008). "Rachel Maddow's First Show: Maddow, Olbermann Analyze Obama Interview". The Huffington Post.
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Citation Linkwww.today.com"'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, February 5th, 2010; Read the transcript to the Friday show". today.com. Today (U.S. TV program). February 8, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
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Citation Linkwww.mediabistro.com"Alison Stewart to Guest Host Maddow". TV Newser. Media Bistro. November 18, 2008.
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