With a loyal, daily YouTube audience, you might wonder why no one has moved Cenk Uygur’s Internet show “The Young Turks” to linear TV before now. Current announced that the liberal-minded series will join its primetime lineup in 4Q. While Uygur scored a gig with MSNBC for a time, the network didn’t pick up the series itself. We asked Uygur for his thoughts.
“TV is sometimes a little slow. Apparently, when we got to 100 million views online, that didn’t do it. A couple hundred million, they started to take notice of us better,” says Uygur. “Remember though, I was on MSNBC well over a year ago, in terms of having a contract, so TV has caught on.”
Uygur, who has been a strong critic of President Obama, feels like his show didn’t work with MSNBC because “they confused Democrats with progressives.” “In this day and age, Democrats are hardly progressive, including the president. So, if you’re just supporting whatever the Democrats say, you’re not being very progressive,” he says.
Current pres David Bohrman believes MSNBC missed a huge opportunity by just putting Uygur and not “The Young Turks” on its lineup. “The dynamics of the Turks is part of the allure of the program,” he says. “Cenk is great on his own, but he’s better in the company that he feeds off of and that feeds off of him.”
We’ll see later this year if his loyal Web watchers will migrate to Current, when “Young Turks” takes the 7pm timeslot before “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on Current. Current promises to soon announce a show for the 9pm hour.