There were certainly some surprises on Game of Thrones when its first episode aired on Sunday night, but the bigger surprise may be due to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. After all, who expected there to not be a new episode of that show coming on the same night as the fantasy epic?
Ratings-wise, this would make the most sense given that Last Week Tonight would get significant ratings bumps most likely from people who weren’t turning off their TV in an hour or so after the show. There’s certainly also quite a bit to discuss with everything that is happening with Donald Trump Jr. and of course more of Trump Sr. and Russia.
Nonetheless, John is on hiatus right now and will be for a couple more weeks. There will be some episodes of the series that will air alongside Game of Thrones, but for now, HBO is opting to wait on them. It’s difficult to predict the network’s decision-making, beyond that this is what Oliver’s schedule is and for whatever reason, these are the breaks that they wanted to take.
With all of this said, Oliver doesn’t necessarily need huge ratings right now given that Last Week Tonight is already a huge hit and an institution of the network. There’s no reason to think that it is going anywhere in the near future — it is drawing big numbers across multiple platforms, and for the time being, it’s hard to fathom that changing. Also, remember that Oliver’s series does not care as much about total viewers as it does to the number of subscribers it brings to the air — it doesn’t quite matter when Last Week Tonight airs as it does that people watch it.
In the end, just celebrate the fact that Last Week Tonight still has many episodes to air — and with that, probably more uses for that ridiculous Warren G. Harding made of wax.
Ultimately, we’re going to miss not having any of Oliver’s show tonight, but the obvious good news is that this is far from the end of the season. We don’t love a night with Game of Thrones airing with Oliver nowhere to be seen, but we’ll just have to go with it for now.
If you missed it…
There is a chance to have a little bit of fun with Oliver still courtesy of his appearance on The Late Show. Head over here to watch a video of his President Harding having an insult-fight with the version of Zachary Taylor that Stephen Colbert and his show purchased. (Photo: HBO.)