HBO's critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning political comedy talk show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has received a winter 2019 return date. Between broadcast, basic cable, premium cable, and streaming, there is an overflowing abundance of late night talk shows right now, many of those focusing primarily on politics. Considering just how politically divided the U.S. is at this juncture, that's not surprising. The rise of former reality TV star Donald Trump to president has truly been a gift to the late night gods, even if most late night hosts would seemingly much rather he not have been elected.
One of the most widely praised late night programs out there today is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered in 2014 on HBO. Oliver had become famous as a fan favorite correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but really saw his star rise when he was tapped to fill in for Stewart as host while the latter was off directing a film. Oliver's tenure hosting The Daily Show drew raves, and clearly HBO knew talent when it saw it, signing him up for his own series not long afterward.
While he does indeed spend some time each episode talking about the latest scandals involving President Trump - it's kind of hard to avoid completely - Oliver is best known for his deep dives into topics that are no less - or in some cases more - important than presidential politics, but are often overlooked by the public or underreported by news agencies due to not being as potentially controversial as the latest partisan fight in Washington, D.C. Soon, Oliver will get his chance to do at least 30 more deep dives, as that's how many episodes season 6 of Last Week Tonight will consist of. According to Deadline, the new season premieres on February 17.
One wonders how much pressure Oliver feels at this stage of Last Week Tonight's existence. By now, he certainly seems more than comfortable in the role of host, but at the same time, his show continues to rack up the awards, and further build its audience. Oliver has to be feeling at least some pressure to maintain Last Week Tonight's level of critical and audience acclaim, having won 12 Emmys so far, including winning the award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series for the last three consecutive years.
While Last Week Tonight season 6 will obviously continue to cover the special counsel's investigation into President Trump potentially colluding with Russia to sway the 2016 election - or as Oliver calls it, "Stupid Watergate" - diehard fans will likely be more interested to see what subjects he deep dives into next. In season 5, Oliver took long looks at the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian government, the Brazilian presidential election, the voting disenfranchisement of those convicted of a felony, cryptocurrencies, and crisis pregnancy centers, among other topics. Some of those might not seem like riveting choices on the surface, but Oliver finds ways to make his segments both entertaining and informative.
Last Week Tonight season 6 premieres February 17 on HBO.