And then there were seven.

Courtesy of NYT:

After five debates including at least 10 candidates, tonight’s face-off among seven Democrats will be the most intimate affair of the 2020 primary. The shrinking stage has not been without controversary: only one non-white candidate, businessman Andrew Yang, will be featured. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will stand smack center stage for the first time, given the odd-numbered lineup, but he may not be the one taking fire from both sides. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren have enough strength in Iowa, which votes first on Feb. 3, that they will likely be big targets, too. And Senator Bernie Sanders has shown such staying power, following a heart attack this fall, that he could face jabs as well.

So here are the important things to know:

The debate is 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. It is being held in Los Angeles and co-hosted by PBS and Politico.

There will be no opening statements. Candidates will have 75 seconds to answer questions from the moderators: Judy Woodruff, Amna Nawaz and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS and Tim Alberta of Politico. Each candidate will have 45 seconds for rebuttals or follow-ups, as well as a minute-long closing statement.

I lament the fact that the stage is so lily-white, but I cannot complain about the fact that the number has been whittled down to seven. 

As usual I will be updating this post as new information becomes available. 

Here’s hoping this debate is a little more exciting than the last one. 

Update: Elizabeth Warren brought the passion tonight.

I am not suggesting that others are not passionate, but Warren seems to be vibrating on that stage.

Update 2: The sound system really sucks at PBS. 

Update 3: The Warren/Buttigieg kerfuffle.

Who do you think won that exchange? 

Update 4: Amy Klobuchar spanks Mayor Pete. 

Nobody seems to be holding back tonight.