John Oliver Leaving ‘The Daily Show’ for HBO, Tim Robbins & Jack Black Are on ‘The Brink’

By November 14, 2013

John Oliver - Daily Show

While Jon Stewart was in the Middle East over the summer directing his first feature film, “The Daily Show’ senior correspondent John Oliver took over the show and came through with flying colors. Some thought he might take over the show if Stewart were ever to leave, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen. Why?

Well, TV Line reports that Oliver is leaving “The Daily Show” after 7 years to pursue his own weekly comedy series at HBO, setting up to premiere in 2014. Not unlike “The Daily Show,” the program will satirically skewer news, politics, and current events. But this show will only air on Sundays as opposed to Monday through Thursday. Oliver says:

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”

Oliver certainly proved that he can handle hosting his own show, aside from serving as the emcee for his Comedy Central series “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show,” and a move to HBO is big. However, we’re not sure what the audience will be like since the only other show of its kind on HBO is “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The two could make for a good Sunday night pairing if that’s the intention, but we’re not sure yet.

Tim Robbins - Jack Black

And that’s not all that HBO has cooking when it comes to new shows. TV Line also has word that Jack Black and Tim Robbins (who strangely appeared together in Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny) are teaming up for a half-hour comedy pilot called “The Brink” at the cable network.

The potential series hails from “Weeds” scribe Roberto Benabib and his sister Kim with HBO’s Game Change director Jay Roach at the helm of the dark comedy that follows three men trying to stop World War III from happening in the face of geopolitical crisis. Black and Robbins are two of the three leads as Alex Coppins, a lowly Foreign Service officer reluctantly caught on the ground in the middle of it all and US Secretary of State Walter Hollander, a man of big appetites and little patience for the war mongers in the Situation Room, respectively. The third unknown role still needs to be filled.

Robbins has taken some surprising comedy roles, mostly in the form of cameos such as The President in the past in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and one of the fighting newscasters in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (another film in which he appeared with Black). In Jack Black’s musical Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, he played an odd Russian homeless man, in addition to stirring some trouble in his record store in High Fidelity, so their teaming here sounds like a lot of fun. The two have actually been good friends since acting together at UCLA.

HBO has made a splash with their politically charged content like Game Change, Recount and “The Newsroom,” not to mention their comedy series “Veep” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This should make for a fun new series as long as the pilot pans out and HBO likes it enough for a series order. That should be a problem with a heavy hitter like Jerry Weintraub executive producing along with Benabib and Roach.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.