EXCLUSIVE: PBS is bringing back an iconic property after nearly two decades. The pubcaster said today that a new version of Firing Line, the William F. Buckley-hosted public-affairs show it aired from 1966-99, will premiere in June. The new host is political strategist and commentator Margaret Hoover.

Produced by WNET/Thirteen, the weekly series will bring together the brightest minds and freshest voices from across the political spectrum to engage in a contest of ideas about important issues confronting our nation, PBS said. Firing Line with Margaret Hoover will launch at 10 AM Saturday, June 2, on New York’s Thirteen, which will air the first three episodes before the series bows on PBS stations nationwide.

PBS

The pubcaster said the show will maintain the character of the original Buckley-fronted series, providing a platform that is diligent in its commitment to a balanced exchange of opinion. The series, PBS notes, comes at a time when meaningful discourse in needed more than ever.

“Our mission is to renew the tradition of Firing Line for a new generation, offering a rigorous exchange of opinion with fresh voices addressing the challenges facing our democracy,” said Hoover, whose political analysis is seen on CNN and ABC’s The View.

PBS said that in order to frame the issues and give context to the discussion, the show will be complemented by archival footage from the original Firing Line series, which broadcast more than 1,500 episodes during its 33-year run.

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover is executive produced by Tom Yellin of the Documentary Group and Hoover. Creative News Group LLC for WNET is co-producer. Neal Shapiro and Stephen Segaller are executives in charge for WNET.