HBO Renews Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for Two More Seasons

John Oliver
Eric Liebowitz/HBO
John Oliver

After Jon Stewart’s “I’m leaving The Daily Show” announcement, certain comedy fans bemoaned the fact that John Oliver wouldn’t be able to return to Comedy Central to take TDS‘ helm, owing to his current gig as host of HBO news magazine Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Some may even have hoped, in their heart of hearts, that Oliver would find a way to leave HBO; today, however, the network made about as strong a commitment as it can make to a mortal man, ordering two more 35-episode seasons of Last Week Tonight to air in 2016 and 2017. And that is a very good thing.

What’s separated the first two seasons of Oliver’s HBO show from his stellar work as Stewart’s summer 2013 substitute is the longform stories he’s able to tell, 15-minute pieces uninterrupted by commercials, as funny as they are informative, despite touching on some real downer subjects. Which is why we’re so happy to have 70 more opportunities for segments like these.

Death Penalty (May 4, 2014)

In only his second episode, Oliver took the story of a botched execution in Oklahoma and turned it into a riveting discussion of the ethics of capital punishment…followed by a much-needed video of a hamster eating a tiny burrito.

Net Neutrality (June 1, 2014)

Not only did Oliver explain the concept of net neutrality with clarity and humor, he also managed to accomplish real change by driving millions of viewers to the FCC’s site—crashing the commenting system—to demand a free and open internet. And it seems like the FCC is actually listening.

Nuclear Weapons and the United States (July 20, 2014)

We don’t worry a whole lot about nuclear annihilation these days, but this segment on the lax security surrounding our own stash of 4,800+ warheads sure upped our internal threat levels to at least DEFCON 4.

Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization (August 17, 2014)

In the wake of the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown by a police officer, Oliver excoriated the Mayor and police department of Ferguson, Missouri, over their incomprehensible tone-deafness and lack of transparency: “As a general rule, no one should ever be allowed to say, ‘There is no history of racial tension here,’ because that sentence has never been true anywhere on earth.”

Miss America Pageant (September 21, 2014)

Supporters of the Miss America Pageant have long lauded its purpose as a “scholarship competition.” Oliver puts the lie to this claim and proposes several different ways to rectify the situation.

Season 2 of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays, 11/10c, on HBO.