If you were among those who thought John Oliver would be an ideal replacement for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (and I raise my hand for believing so), HBO shot down such talk definitively on Tuesday by renewing Last Week Tonight for two more seasons. You can read the official press release here.
I figured Oliver would be Comedy Central’s top choice. Obviously, he was once a big part of The Daily Show and filled in as host for three months last summer while Stewart took a hiatus to direct his first feature film, Rosewater. But Oliver’s contract situation seemed to align well with Stewart’s departure, as he originally signed a two-year deal with an option.
BREAKING: HBO has renewed LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER for its 3rd & 4th seasons. Consisting of 35 shows apiece, S3/2016 & S4/2017.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) February 17, 2015
Obviously, that’s now a moot point with HBO making a big commitment to Oliver and Last Week Tonight. Signing on the dotted line for two more seasons marries the show to the premium cable network through 2017. Oliver may not have been interested in leaving HBO anyway, since he has full creative control over his show and doesn’t have to worry about offending possible corporate sponsors. But now, there won’t even be a question as to whether Oliver’s eyes are wandering.
So scratch one potential Stewart replacement off the list. (Two, if you count Jessica Williams, who took herself out of consideration on Twitter.) This arguably makes the search for The Daily Show’s new host more exciting, as Oliver was a comfortable fit that arguably would have continued the show in similar fashion. Who’s next on the list?