Keith Olbermann And Rachel Maddow Opening Now Head To Head; Olbermann Defends Move On Twitter

Keith Olbermann announced Monday night that his new edition of "Countdown" would actually air for 63 minutes. Since his show airs at 8 PM, this means that Olbermann is now going head-to-head with Rachel Maddow, his old protege, for the first few minutes of her show.

As soon as he broke the news, some of Olbermann's followers on Twitter began complaining that he was trying to hurt Maddow's show and letting down the progressive side.

"Glad you're back, but think it's wrong for you to take it out on @maddow," one follower wrote. "It's not just about ratings."

Maddow, of course, was Olbermann's guest host, and he was the driving force behind her getting her own show. When he left MSNBC, she paid extended tribute to him. Olbermann has admitted that he has not spoken to Maddow since leaving MSNBC.

Olbermann responded that he was going after MSNBC, not Maddow personally, and noted that people could easily change their DVR settings to accommodate both shows.

"Sorry," he wrote. "It is a competition." He also pointed out that Maddow had appeared on the last minutes of Lawrence O'Donnell's show, directly opposite Olbermann, to talk about Jon Stewart--a seeming incentive to MSNBC's viewers not to change the channel.

"So I'm assuming you're mad at her for doing the last five minutes of O'Donnell's show in competition with me?" he wrote. "I'm not."

Incidentally, Olbermann has repeatedly raised the prospect of Maddow herself making the move from MSNBC to Current.