tavis-smiley*Tavis Smiley’s self-titled PRI talk show will kick off 2014 with a growth spurt.

The one-hour show will expand to two hours starting Jan. 17. The first topic addressed under the new format will be poverty as the roundtable discussion coincides with the 50th anniversary of the War n Poverty.

Featured panelists include Greg Kaufmann, contributor to The Nation magazine and to BillMoyers.com Sasha Abramsky, senior fellow at Demos and author of The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives Jessica Bartholow, legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty Amy Sosa, an unemployed mother of three who is struggling to makes ends meet.

“I’m excited about our expanded format because it allows us to examine important issues, like the growing poverty crisis, in more depth and with a greater focus on what’s happening in neighborhoods all across the country,” Smiley stated in a press release.

Although The Tavis Smiley Show will add an extra hour, viewers shouldn’t worry about the show losing its edge. The show’s diverse conversation list will continue to various newsmakers and commentators who will offer their views on issues ranging from politics and business to health, sports and arts and culture.

The two-hour format won’t be the only new thing about “The Tavis Smiley Show.” Viewers will also see the debut of a new feature on the show called “Five Things You Should Know About…”.

In a regular series of interviews for the segment Smiley will ask experts for their top five tips on a wide range of issues. Each segment of “Five Things You Should Know About…”will be linked on Twitter from @TavisSmiley.

As he preps to tackle the issue of poverty on his show, Smiley is making moves to do his part with his Tavis Smiley Foundation. The organization is doing its part via the recent announcement of ENDING POVERTY: America’s Silent Spaces, a $3 million, four-year national initiative that examines barriers and identify solutions to get rid of poverty in the United States.