Naturally, that was the solution on everyone’s mind: since John Oliver was the guest host Jon Stewart turned to in 2013, while he was busy for eight weeks, shooting his film about a journalist in Iranian prison — you’d expect that now, with Stewart looking to move on to the rest of his life, John Oliver would be the heir apparent.
The critics and the audience loved the job Oliver did filling in for Stewart, some even saying he should some day succeed Stewart.
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Not so fast, says HBO, which has already signed Oliver to do two more series of his very entertaining and thought provoking weekly series “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” They want 35 episodes per year in 2016 and 2017.
So the heir apparent thing — not going to happen.
Oliver launched “Last Week Tonight” in 2014, following seven years on The Daily Show. And “Let’s” just won the Writers Guild of America award for best comedy/variety series.
The press has been playing with suggestions for replacements for Stewart: Tina Fey, Jessica Williams and Amy Poehler.
But all three are women — which, with all due respect, is yet to work in late night TV. And they’re not Jewish, which means a major change in the very spirit of the show. It doesn’t mean it’ll be bad, but it won’t be the same.
Oliver’s second series of 35 episodes began this month. The show is produced by the US arm of Avalon Television, and also airs on Sky Atlantic in the U.K.