Silencing any chatter of a possible John Oliver return to Comedy Central to take over The Daily Show, HBO has renewed his weekly program, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, for two more seasons. Each season will consist of 35 shows, with Season 3 running in 2016, to be followed by Season 4 in 2017.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement by Jon Stewart that he would be leaving The Daily Show later this year. Oliver landed the HBO series after a breakout turn as a fill-in host of The Daily Show in summer 2013 while Stewart was away directing his first movie. Oliver’s contract at HBO was said to cover two seasons of Last Week Tonight but the network was believed to have options for more, which it has now triggered. Last Week‘s 35-episode second season premiered February 8.
The renewal also follows Last Week‘s big win at the WGA Awards on Saturday where it topped heavyweights like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, HBO’s incumbent weekly comedy/talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, and 40-year-old Saturday Night Live to win the comedy/variety category for his first major awards recognition. The pickup follows a similar two-season renewal of Real Time last month (Seasons 14-15), guaranteeing that both Maher and Oliver will be on HBO during the upcoming presidential campaign and beyond.
In its short run to date, Oliver’s HBO program, which tackles topical and broader issues, has made headlines with a number of provocative pieces and calls to action that have irked the Kremlin and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and shut down the FCC’s website.
“We are incredibly proud to have John as part of the HBO family,” said HBO head of programming Michael Lombardo. “His unique ability to deliver socially significant commentary week after week, along with his innate comedic brilliance, puts John in a class by himself.”
Last Week is produced for HBO by Avalon Television; executive producers, John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Jon Thoday, James Taylor; co-executive producer, Liz Stanton; producer, Diane Fitzgerald; and director, Jim Hoskinson.