"Six seasons and a movie" almost didn't happen. As June drew to a close, time was running out to save Community, which NBC had canceled in May. Talks to move the comedy to streaming service Hulu were falling apart, the deal options to keep the show's cast intact expired at the end of the month, and much of the crew and key writers had already moved on to new jobs. Even the comedy's offices on the studio lot had been taken over by a new series: Grace and Frankie, Netflix's upcoming sitcom starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
"When a show is canceled, it's usually canceled," says Sony Pictures Television programming president Zack Van Amburg, whose company produces Community.
Our top moments of the week:
11. Best Icebreaker: Jonah Hill has been apologizing for the wrong transgression this whole time. A day after his tearful mea culpa on The Tonight Show for using an anti-gay slur, the 22 Jump Street star drops by The Colbert Report, where...
With executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna back at the helm, critics and fans agreed that Community regained its mojo this past season. Considering the major arc for star Joel McHale, big guest turns by stars like Jonathan Banks and John Oliver, and an emotional farewell to star Donald Glover, it's reasonable to expect the show to be an Emmy contender in several key comedy categories, including Outstanding Writing.
There's just one pesky problem...
John Oliver would like you to know that nobody is more surprised than he is that he has landed his own show on HBO. While he may not be a household name just yet, when Last Week Tonight With John Oliver — a satirical weekly news program — premieres on April 27, it will join the cable channel's distinguished Sunday-night ranks, which have included The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Girls and Veep.
"It's an odd piece of premium real estate — I feel like I'm polluting the landscape a bit," says the 36-year-old import, best known for his seven years as "senior British correspondent" on The Daily Show and the two months he spent filling Jon Stewart's chair when the anchor was away last summer. "It's like seeing a gigantic empty lot on Park Avenue and someone just built a tent on it. It's like, 'How did you get there?'"
Three weeks before his first broadcast, we sat down with the compulsively self-deprecating, lightning-witted comedian to find out the answer...
HBO released the first trailer for John Oliver's upcoming comedy-news series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
HBO sets premiere for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Oliver, who filled in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show over the summer, pokes...