Jan 31, 2022 - Economy & Business

Rachel Maddow announces brief hiatus from show until April

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU via Getty Images

MSNBC's highest-rated anchor Rachel Maddow said Monday she plans to take a brief hiatus from her show, beginning this Thursday, to focus on other projects with the network and the movie adaptation of her book. She'll return some time in April.

Why it matters: Maddow is expected to leave her position as MSNBC's daily 9 p.m. primetime host later this year. A hiatus now gives the network time to experiment with possible replacements.

Catch up quick: Maddow reached a multiyear deal with NBC last year to run a production company that would produce content for NBC across a wide portfolio that could include books, documentaries, movies, TV series and podcasts.

  • She has been hosting her 9 p.m. show on MSNBC since 2008. Her show is at times the most-watched program in cable news.

Details: In a monologue at the top of her Monday show, Maddow said she'll take several weeks off to work on new projects, including the movie adaptation of her Spiro Agnew book, "Bag Man."

  • She noted that Ben Stiller will direct the film and that Lorne Michaels, the legendary "Saturday Night Live" producer, would help produce the film. Maddow's book is also being released in paperback in April.
  • In addition to that project, Maddow said she's also working on a new journalistic podcast for NBC, and that there's another book adaptation that she wants to make for TV.
  • Maddow noted that she'll be back on MSNBC for special coverage and major news events like the State of the Union. 

The big picture: Maddow's moves are the latest in a broader shakeup of TV talent at MSNBC and beyond.

  • MSNBC confirmed last week that it plans to extend "Morning Joe" by an hour and replace Brian Williams at the 11 p.m. ET hour with Stephanie Ruhle.
  • Fox News is looking for a new host for its flagship Sunday morning news program in the wake of Chris Wallace's departure for CNN.
  • CNN is looking for a permanent replacement for Chris Cuomo's 9 p.m. spot.

What's next: A series of rotating hosts will fill in for Maddow until she returns, per a source familiar with the plan.

What to watch: Maddow said there "may eventually be another hiatus again sometime in my future."

Go deeper: Inside MSNBC's big shakeup

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