Cord cutters: How to watch the first Republican presidential debate

If you're interested in seeing the Republicans kick off this season's debate cycle and you've given up your cable TV, we have the details you'll need.

UPDATE: I reached out to Fox News and got a much more detailed understanding of restrictions and how you can watch the debate. Althoughthe Fox News page on the debate did not state that authentication is required, it actually is. You must be a cable subscriber to watch the full debate live. However, there will be real-time clips from the debate streamed to everyone who goes to foxnews.com and the entire debate will be available on foxnews.com on-demand by Friday morning -- whether or not you are able to authenticate as a cable subscriber. Thanks to Fox News for their rapid response to my questions.

The strangest things can inspire a grown man to panic.

I have had Thursday's upcoming presidential debate in my calendar since it was first announced. These early debates in a presidential season are the best, because you get to watch the candidates hone their craft. Plus, there's the fun of rating the candidates and predicting who will win the primaries.

But this is my first election season without cable TV. My wife and I cut the cord back in April and while I factored in my addiction to blow-by-blow, chart-by-chart TV election coverage, the reality of the cord cutting just landed.

And that brings me back to my opening statement. Panic. Would Fox News be forward-thinking enough to give us cord-cutters a way to watch Donald Trump and the SuperFriends debate?

As it turns out, Fox News says they'll also be broadcasting the debate on the foxnews.com Web site and via the FoxNews mobile apps. In fact, here's the entire schedule for Thursday night, including the various Facebook groups you can join to participate in a live chat.

Last night, Fox News announced who the ten lucky candidates would be who are participating in the 9PM ET debate. These were chosen based on polling results from five major polls, including our own CBS News. Those candidates are The Donald, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.

While you have your calendars open and are making plans, be sure to mark in 5PM ET on Thursday night as well. Fox is going to be broadcasting a "kiddies' table" debate with those candidates who didn't make it to the bigs.

These luminaries include such superstars as Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Jim Gilmore. Plus, to top off the junior varsity and make it worth tuning in, everyone's favorite five-minute-front-running-who-so-blew-his-debate-from-last-election, the former governor of Texas, the honorable Rick Perry.

I know. Rick Perry at 5PM and Donald Trump at 9PM. What a great way to start an election season!

By the way, I'm doing more updates on Twitter and Facebook than ever before. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz and on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz.