NEW YORK (AP) — Wyatt Cenac, who is the latest entrant in late-night television comedy, is taking some inspiration from John Oliver in his desire to inform as well as entertain. His new series called “Problem Areas” is debuting Friday on HBO.
It’s described as a comedy “docu-series” and resembles Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” in how each episode has a central story approached with journalistic rigor along with some short comedy bits. Oliver is an executive producer for the show and offered a sounding board to Cenac, and the show’s staff is packed with people who worked on their shared alma mater, “The Daily Show.”
From there, the similarities end. Cenac’s laid-back style replaces Oliver’s hyperactivity. “Problem Areas” has no studio audience and travels across the country to examine the issue of policing.