Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Trailer

John Oliver, who came up through the ranks at The Daily Show, is about to debut his own comedy news program, and here’s the first Last Week Tonight With John Oliver trailer. This gig comes after Oliver’s very successful run filling in for Stewart as The Daily Show anchor. Sure, Jon Stewart is still going strong at The Daily Show, and his one-time protege Stephen Colbert is at the top of his game on The Colbert Report. But there’s room for more comedy in news. (Or more news in comedy?)

The show will air each Sunday night on HBO. Presumably Oliver and his writing team will mine some of the same comic vein familiar to viewers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, only with the language and content freedom that HBO provides.

This trailer pokes fun at the fact that the show won’t exactly be the most timely presentation of the week’s news. It’s a great trailer that really gets across Oliver’s personality, and hopefully augurs good things for the show. Read More »

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Can series creator Dan Harmon put the shine back on Community? Ousted for the show’s fourth season, he’s back for the fifth, which premieres on January 2. This teaser suggests that Harmon has done a lot of course correcting — while I couldn’t get through much of the fourth season, this teaser has me ready to check out the fifth. In fact, I’m now eager to see this season, and I would never have guessed I’d feel that way after struggling through the first third of season four before giving up.

In fact, interviews see star Joel McHale saying that Harmon is “basically calling it a re-pilot of the show, where he’s re-establishing all the characters and grounding (them).” And there’s a lot of work to do: Chevy Chase left the cast, Donald Glover is leaving partway through season five, and John Oliver is returning.

But this little bit of footage suggests that Harmon might have been able to (re)ground the characters without losing the zany, unpredictable aspects of the show. Check it out below.  Read More »

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When John Oliver spent the summer filling in for Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show, it wasn’t the enaction of a ploy to take over the seat of the show that gave Oliver his biggest break. But it did turn out to be an audition for Oliver to anchor a new show.

Unsurprisingly, the new show will be not unlike The Daily Show. It will be a weekly series on HBO, with “a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events,” says Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO. The show will air Sundays starting in 2014.  Read More »

The Killing

We have a particularly murderer-heavy edition of TV Bits today, with news about Dexter, Hannibal, and The Killing. After the jump:

  • Dallas, Veep, Rectify, and Orphan Black get renewed
  • Vampire Diaries spinoff gets green light
  • Julian Sands joins Dexter in mystery role
  • Downton Abbey gets its first black character
  • John Oliver will host The Daily Show this summer
  • Bryan Fuller has Pushing Daisies movie ideas
  • NBC affiliate axes Hannibal
  • The Killing‘s new mystery will be solved within the season
  • FX and Seth Rogen develop Bigfoot comedy
  • Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Peter Berg team for HBO
  • Alex Gibney will direct Frank Sinatra documentary
  • The Arrested Development doc hits tomorrow; see more Season 4 stills

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Is minimal design in teasers now the go-to for kids animation franchises? Despicable Me 2 used the approach to pretty cute effect not long ago, and here an international teaser for The Smurfs 2 (which is likely almost exactly the same as the forthcoming US teaser) relies on little but a Smurf, a white backdrop, and an insistent bit of text. It’s gentle and a little bit silly, like the Smurfs, if not all that memorable.

The real audience for a Smurfs movie won’t care much, I imagine, but the parents buying the tickets might not be all that excited to pony up just yet. Check out the teaser below. Read More »

jones-oliver-absolutely-anything

Briefly: Terry Jones — the Monty Python member who directed The Life of Brian, not the nutter who wanted to burn the Qu’ran in Florida — is preparing to make his return to the director’s chair with Absolutely Anything. The film will star John Oliver, recently known as the Senior British Correspondent (among other titles) at The Daily Show. That makes Oliver the latest TDS alum to jump from small screen to large, and a well-deserved jump it should be.

Jones wrote the script with Gavin Scott, and it reportedly includes as diverse elements as “aliens, a goofy Brit, a talking dog and buckets of silliness,” to all of which I’ll simply say: ‘yes.’

We don’t have info about Oliver’s role (‘goofy Brit,’ one would assume) but Deadline says that Robin Williams is in talks to play the talking dog (named Dennis the Dog) while John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam have all been contacted about voicing aliens. Again: yes. Absolutely Anything is currently hoping to shoot in Spring 2011.

chevy-chevy

Last night saw the debut on NBC of Community, the new half-hour sitcom notable for starring The Soup quickstepper, Joel McHale, and parting the prime time waters for Chevy “Nugent, Ted Nugent” Chase. Based on the premiere, Community looks to introduce a sweet-hearted strain of politically incorrect irreverence to the Big 3 as a reaction to cable’s shenanigans. This is not really a surprise since the show was created and produced by Dan Harmon, whose credits include The Sarah Silverman Show and the axed Jack Black treasure, Heat Vision and Jack. Earlier this month, the pilot was rolled out on Facebook and the PS3, and today we’d like to know what you thought. Some of my early impressions after the jump…

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