The world of cable news is getting a much-needed breath of fresh hair this weekend with the premiere of frequent MSNBC contributor, Tulane professor, and author Melissa Harris Perry’s new eponymous news show, Melissa Harris Perry. The show, set to air on Saturday and Sunday mornings, will focus on national politics in addition to chronicling issues related to culture, art, and community that reach beyond the beltway. Melissa Harris-Perry seeks “to challenge the definition of politics” and “push the boundaries of what we know, how we know it, and where we get our information.”
Like Chris Hayes, the host of Up with Chris Hayes, which will follow MHP, Harris Perry started her career on MSNBC first as an unpaid commentator, then a paid contributor before ultimately substituting hosting duties on The Rachel Maddow Show before securing their own program.
In a press release, Harris Perry spoke on the magnitude of her latest venture. “This is an extraordinary opportunity,” Harris Perry said. “All I’ve ever wanted to be is a teacher. Phil Griffin and MSNBC are giving me the chance to have a much bigger classroom. I’m particularly excited to join the growing weekend lineup where we have a chance to take a longer and broader view of the week’s political news.”
Griffin spoke highly of Harris Perry’s intellect and talent in that same statement, noting, “Melissa’s thoughtful analysis has been an incredible addition to our primetime programs and I’m thrilled to have her join our expanded weekend line-up.”
Harris Perry will be the only tenured professor in the United States – and one of very few Black women – who serve as a cable news host. In addition to her MSNBC duties, Melissa will continue her role as columnist of The Nation, where she pens her monthly column “Sister Citizen.” Additionally, Melissa Harris-Perry will maintain a blog on the show’s official site, and each Friday the host will pen a long blog entry called “Office Hours with Melissa.”
While promoting her show via an interview with The Amsterdam News, Melissa Harris Perry spoke on dream guests – including First Lady Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
The scholar has one guest in mind who might be a little less predictable: “…Beyoncé. There’s no point in having a TV show if Beyoncé won’t eventually come on.” She adds “She can bring the baby; I’m a mother, it’s all good. Blue Ivy is totally invited onto the show.”
Melissa Harris Perry premieres on Saturday, February 18 will air live from10a-noon ET every Saturday and Sunday.