Lou Dobbs wants to talk money. He's just not sure what that means yet.
"One of the things that you learn -- and I've had the opportunity and the privilege to help start a few networks -- is that you'd better not have any preconceptions."
Tonight's debut of a new Fox Business Network show, "Lou Dobbs Tonight," takes the 7 p.m. weekday time slot of Mr. Dobbs' old, similarly named program on CNN.
He left CNN in late 2009, after almost three decades. Finding a home on the fairly young FBN, he said, will be like the old days.
"There is a great similarity in both cases, and we are talking about underdogs," he said. "We are starting something and creating something brand new and I find that exhilarating, as do all the people I'm working with."
Mr. Dobbs said he wasn't actively seeking a return to news television but Fox provided an opportunity.
"I've been a friend and admirer of [Fox News president] Roger Ailes for years, and the opportunity to work with a young organization just a few years old, to be in the marketplace of fresh new ideas, was absolutely wonderful."
The show, which will examine money matters broad and personal, has guests booked through the middle of the second week.
Guests slated for the premiere week include FDIC chair Sheila Bair, former New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Yale economist Robert Shiller and Cameron Hanover president Peter Beutel, the Monsters and Critics website reports.
"I believe our audience wants to learn more about what it takes to restore prosperity to this great country," Mr. Dobbs said.
Although politics will be part of the conversation, Mr. Dobbs said, "It's a business broadcast, first and foremost. The focus is on the economy, finance, corporate America, job creation ....
"But as you know, with the intersection of business and politics, we will certainly cover the politics [of business]."
Examination of specialized issues, such as the budget crisis in Pennsylvania and other states, will be part of the mix, he added.
"If anything, there has been perhaps too little attention paid to them."
He's kept busy between his shows. Six months ago, Mr. Dobbs shot a guest appearance on CBS's "The Good Wife." The episode, "Double Jeopardy," originally aired in early October and repeated just last week. Clips also can be found on YouTube.
It was hardly a stretch: He portrayed himself. But the conservative was represented by liberal attorney Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski.
"Robert King [the series co-creator] asked me to do it," he said. "My wife was the one who said, 'Babe, you've got to do it. So for the first time since high school poetry class, I had to memorize lines."
It was the first time he'd been on the set of an entertainment show, he said: "It was a little intimidating. I thought it was a hoot."
But on the whole, Lou Dobbs would rather be writing his own lines.
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478.