John Oliver's stint hosting The Daily Show was an audition of sorts, but it turns out not for Jon Stewart's job. HBO has swooped in and poached Oliver, giving him his own "topical comedy series" that will begin next year. Oliver, however, will not go up against his old boss. His show will air weekly and on Sunday nights, a night when The Daily Show is not on the air.
In a press release, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said that it was Oliver's summer gig that prompted HBO to give him the job. "We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on 'The Daily Show,' we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO," Lombardo said.
Oliver's time filling in for Stewart while the regular host was away filming his directorial debut impressed a lot of people as he both defined himself and kept the ratings steady. Vulture's Jesse David Fox deemed Oliver The Daily Show's "heir apparent." But with Stewart seeming comfortable back in the chair, and the Comedy Central late night lineup squared off with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, it seems as good a time as ever for Oliver to leave the nest. It certainly stands to reason that a lot of Daily Show fans will come with him.