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HBO’s Last Week Tonight returns in February, even though we all need it now

Along with Girls and Crashing

John Oliver Last Week Tonight American flags
John Oliver holds up a copy of Dan Gutman’s The Kid Who Ran for President during the Aug. 21, 2016, episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Eric Liebowitz/HBO
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The year’s final installment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver aired this past Sunday, leaving Americans without the British comedian’s charming, self-deprecating outrage as we gird ourselves for President Donald Trump. HBO announced today that the show’s fourth season will premiere Feb. 12, 2017, meaning that Last Week Tonight will debut just over three weeks into the Trump administration.

“Even though this year still has seven weeks left, I’m calling it early: 2016 has been the fucking worst,” said Oliver in this week’s season finale. The rest of the episode consisted of a five-minute goodbye to the year that culminated in Oliver blowing up a giant 2016 structure in what appeared to be a soccer stadium.

In its third season, Last Week Tonight continued its tradition of blending satirical commentary on the week’s news with deep dives into topics such as doping in sports, Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.K.’s “Brexit” from the European Union, police accountability and school segregation. There’s not really anything else like it on television, even if the media has perhaps overstated the show’s power to “eviscerate” or “destroy” its subjects.

Last Week Tonight will continue airing from 11-11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Sundays, and HBO also announced today that the sixth and final season of Girls will premiere the same day as Last Week Tonight, in the 10 p.m. time slot. Season six will run for 10 episodes starting Feb. 12.

One week later, on Feb. 19 at 10:30 p.m., HBO will debut a new comedy called Crashing. The show stars Pete Holmes as Pete, a standup comic in New York City whose wife, Jess (Lauren Lapkus), leaves him for an Italian boxer named Rocco. Artie Lange appears as himself, and T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) is also part of the cast. Crashing, on which Holmes and Judd Apatow are executive producers, will be the comedian’s second TV series after The Pete Holmes Show, a talk show that ran for two seasons on TBS from 2013-14.

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