UPDATE, 6:09 PM PT: Rachel Maddow hosted her MSNBC show from her home because of possible exposure to someone who tested positive for Covid, while she confirmed plans to take a hiatus to work on other projects.
“I have tested negative so far but I was definitely exposed to somebody who was symptomatic and positive,” Maddow explained, noting that she has been vaccinated and boosted. Maddow said that she was “fine” and there was “absolutely nothing worry about whatsoever.”
She also confirmed that she will be taking a hiatus from her show after Thursday’s telecast to work on a movie version of her Bag Man podcast, to be directed by Ben Stiller and produced by Lorne Michaels. Maddow is an executive producer.
“This has been in the works for a while now…but now it looks like it’s going to happen,” Maddow said.
She described the hiatus as lasting a “few weeks,” but was a bit more exact in telling viewers that she would be “back in April.” She said that there “may eventually be another hiatus again sometime in my future, but for now we’re just taking it one step at a time.”
When Maddow signed a new deal last year with the network and NBCUniversal, she reportedly also wanted to scale back her nightly schedule, although no concrete plans were announced.
Maddow also said that she will work on another podcast “along the lines of Bag Man,” with its its narrative format.
“So as you can tell I’m nervous about all this, it’s a change in my life, but it’s all for the good,” Maddow said.
Maddow will continue to appear on MSNBC for special events, like President Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union on March 1.
Bag Man, about the bribery scandal that forced Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, to resign in 1973, also was turned into a book and an upcoming paperback. Focus Features, a unit of NBCU, has been developing the feature film.
PREVIOUSLY: Rachel Maddow plans to announce on her show on Monday that she will be taking a hiatus to work on other projects.
An MSNBC source said that Maddow will focus on a new podcast and feature film for NBCUniversal, with her final show before the hiatus on Thursday. A rotating series of hosts will take her place during her break, which was described as lasting for “several weeks.” Maddow will appear on major breaking news events, like coverage of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, scheduled for March 1.
Maddow signed a new multi-year agreement with the network and NBCUniversal last year that included developing new projects across the company. She already produced the Bag Man podcast, about Richard Nixon’s vice president Spiro Agnew, and it’s been turned into a book with a paperback version soon to be released. Focus Features, a unit of NBCU, has been developing a feature film based on the book and podcast, with Ben Stiller directing and Maddow as executive producer.
At the time she signed her new deal, there were reports that she planned to scale back her schedule of The Rachel Maddow Show, but no major change has been announced to the network’s primetime lineup. The source said that Maddow will return to her regular schedule when the hiatus is over.
Maddow is the top rated personality at MSNBC, and has hosted her show since 2008. Last week, MSNBC announced a change in its schedule, with Stephanie Ruhle taking over the 11 PM timeslot following the departure of Brian Williams. Business Insider first reported the news of Maddow’s hiatus. Morning Joe will expand to four hours, taking Ruhle’s old 9 AM slot.
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