Long Live Oliver: HBO’s Last Week Tonight Debuts to Solid Ratings

John Oliver’s new HBO show got off to a good start: Sunday’s premiere of Last Week Tonight drew 1.1 million viewers with its initial telecast, building on its Veep lead-in (a criminally low 922,000 viewers) and boosting the usual performance HBO gets out of reruns in the time slot by 51 percent. For comparison’s sake, the premium channel’s Bill Maher–hosted Real Time draws around 1.2 million viewers on Fridays, while Oliver’s former employer, The Daily Show, usually brings in around 1.5 million. (The Daily Show’s home network, Comedy Central, is available in nearly three times as many households as the subscription-based HBO.) Last Week could drop in coming weeks once publicity surrounding the show dies down, or once Game of Thrones ends its fourth season in June. (By the way, Thrones notched its biggest audience yet Sunday, with 6.9 million viewers.) For now, though, HBO’s investment in Oliver appears to be paying off. Sorry, Oregonians.

Ratings: Last Week Tonight Has a Solid Opening