Sky One has renewed The Russell Howard Hour for a third and fourth season.
Topical talk shows and stand-up comedy have rapidly become a heated battleground in an online streaming age. While James Corden’s Late Late Show in the USA has made waves with its skits and stunts designed to go viral on YouTube, Netflix and HBO have been investing in stand-up specials from a range of talent, with Netflix, in particular, splashing large sums of cash on big name comics and a string of talk show attempts, with Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act its most notable success.
Sky One, meanwhile, has been quietly finding success with Russell Howard’s own topical entertainment show. Now in its second season (airing until 28th February 2019), the programme is the most successful new non-scripted entertainment series to launch on the channel since 2010 and had over 100 million views across social media. Sky has responded by promptly ordering two more seasons, with the third, 14-part run going into production in autumn 2019.
Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, comments: “Russell has established himself as one of the foremost satirical voices on TV and online. We are happy as hell that he has a home on Sky One where he can bring our audiences his unique and hilarious take on our messed up world.”
Filmed in front of a studio audience, Russell conducts in-depth wider social interviews with an array of interesting people including Ed Sheeran, John Oliver, Alesha Dixon, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Klein, Jamie Oliver, Louis Theroux, Diane Abbott, Greg Davies, Fiona Bruce, Juan Mata, Sarah Millican, Michelle Wolf and Derren Brown. In a segment titled Playground Politics, Russell talks to children about international issues at schools around the world to get a junior perspective on global politics and in Good Deeds champions our nation’s spirit of generosity. A new Live Forever strand sees Russell address his fear of mortality through participating in a mixture of scientifically proven, spiritual and perhaps slightly dubiously dubbed life prolonging activities.
The Russell Howard Hour is a Sky original production produced by Avalon. The commissioning editor at Sky is Shirley Jones, whilst Executive Producers are Richard Allen-Turner, James Taylor and Jon Thoday for Avalon. The show is directed by Peter Orton and series produced by Robyn O’Brien.
James Taylor, Executive Producer for Avalon says: “We’re delighted that, for at least another 2 years, we’ll be bringing The Russell Howard Hour to Sky One where Russell can continue to navigate through and make us laugh at what must be the bleakest and most terrifying news cycle in living memory.”
Russell Howard says: “I absolutely love doing this show. It’s such a ridiculous privilege that I get to write jokes as the world spins out of control.”