“Fifth” Daily Show to Launch Tonight

SoHo’s first fake news show will debut tonight after scoring solid ratings and reviews on HBO at the weekend.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver will air 10 o’clock tonight ahead of The Daily Show’s overdue return to Comedy Central next week.

Deadline Hollywood said the former Daily Show correspondent’s “bid to be Jon Stewart’s fifth night” was closely modeled on his mentor’s satirical style — minus the ads — and reported it “opened strong”  with 1.6 million viewers.

Entertainment Weekly felt the first night “almost fully-formed, as if Oliver has spent his Daily Show tutelage making a list of everything that works — and everything he wanted to do just a little bit differently.”

And the Los Angeles Times quipped: “If The Daily Show is MSNBC and The Colbert Report is Fox, then Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is … Al Jazeera America.”

Among Oliver’s harsher critics was Variety, which dubbed it “another spin of the late night-satire wheel, with nary a new groove in it …

Last Week Tonight was perfectly fine but did nothing to deflect being construed as a Daily Show knockoff – the fifth episode Stewart doesn’t do, only with F-bombs.

The trade paper also criticised HBO for missing an opportunity by not pairing it with Real Life With Bill Maher — an argument that also could be levelled at SoHo, which doubts one of the funniest, sharpest, liveliest talk shows on US TV would “travel” here.

But at least Last Week Tonight will screen on SoHo in HD whereas Daily Show, when it returns May 5 at 11.05pm, will be in scuzzy SD on Comedy Central, which, in another missed opportunity, appears no closer to picking up stablemate Colbert.

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3 Responses to ““Fifth” Daily Show to Launch Tonight”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    April 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Looks like Sky is pushing more of its good content on to the “pay extra” SoHo channel. Their next move will be to create more “pay extra” channels and move some of the basic sub stuff on to them with the carrot of “In HD”.

  2. To be fair to Sky, in America this show is considered ‘premium cable’. Sky’s policy seems to be to put all ‘premium cable’ (Showtime/HBO) content that it can get its hands on onto SoHo. Yes they are also putting the likes of Fargo (FX – which I believe is considered ‘basic cable’?) onto SoHo, but to criticise this particular move would be contra-flow so to speak. As for “appears no closer to picking up stablemate Colbert”, of particular note here I’d hazard a guess that given recent announcements, Sky has likely decided that it’s “not worth the effort”. I say this for a few reasons … a) recent announcements that sometime in the next year or so, The Colbert Report will cease to exist, with Colbert moving to CBS to headline The Late Show (by then, formally) With David Letterman, b) Previously we’ve been landed with “international editions” of said shows, I believe due to concerns over rights of clips that air during the show, c) obviously it must’ve taken a lot of work as it is to get TDS back on NZ TV, otherwise it’d have been back sooner. Considering that and (a), would it have been worth bringing in TCR for potentially such a small stint?

  3. All good points, Nigel. But both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should have been fixtures of Comedy Central NZ long before now. They were given short daily runs several years ago but taken off because of low ratings. That was a ridiculous rationale given hardly anything on CC rates above an asterisk. And even if they weren’t crowdpleasers, they would have given the channel a cachet and a hip point of difference to the rest of its video bargain bin line-up.

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