updated 6/6/2005 11:30:33 AM ET 2005-06-06T15:30:33

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” celebrates eight years on television with a slew of big guests and interviews starting next week, Monday, June 6th.

On Monday, June 6th, Chris sits down with nine of the bi-partisan senators who struck the historic accord to end the judicial filibuster fight.  “These senators forged a middle ground and proved that moderation wins,” says Matthews. “This marks the rise of the political center.”  From NBC’s WRC studios in Washington, DC, Chris will speak with Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio).

Also on Monday, June 6th, Chris focuses on “journalism under fire” and will hear from Matt Cooper, the TIME magazine reporter who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal his source on the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity; his lawyer, former Solicitor General Ted Olson; former Justice Department attorney Victoria Toensing, who wrote the law protecting CIA agents; and, NBC’s Jim Taricani, who served six months of home confinement for refusing to divulge a source.

Tuesday, June 7th, Rudy Giuliani.

Wednesday, June 8th, “Hardball” takes an intimate look at Opus Dei.

On Thursday, June 9th, Russell Crowe in a cable exclusive, and an exclusive interview with Bill Moyers and White House Communications Adviser Nicolle Devenish. Plus, Darrell Hammond.

On Friday, June 10th, Chris interviews comedian and Bill Maher.

Monday, June 13th, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sits down with Chris for a rare interview about the latest foreign policy developments.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” telecasts Monday through Friday 7-8 p.m. (ET).  Tammy Haddad is the executive producer.

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