'TV's Top 5': Desus and Mero on Landing Obama and Their Showtime Evolution

Desus Nice and The Kid Mero
Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Welcome to episode 105 of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. HBO Max's next creative chapter.
After launching in May and undergoing an executive regime change, the streamer posted big gains in its recently wrapped fourth quarter driven by Wonder Woman 1984 and a Roku deal. This segment explores what the subscriber gains mean and how HBO Max is readying for its next creative incarnation, driven by — you guessed it! — high-profile IP like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.

2. In memoriam.
This segment pays tribute to the late and legendary Cicely Tyson, Cloris Leachman and Larry King and looks at the long-lasting mark they each made in the TV world.

3. February TV preview.
Is it just us or does the list of February premieres seem a little lighter than usual? This segment explores if pandemic-related production delays impacted the release schedule as well as how April is slowly but surely becoming the new January.

4. Showrunner Spotlight.  
Ahead of third season of Showtime's late-night series Desus & Mero, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero join the podcast this week for an interview that's equal parts funny and insightful. The longtime collaborators and friends discuss their December sit-down with Obama and how that helped evolve Desus & Mero and why their show won't return to the studio anytime soon. Season three, which kicks off Sunday, will feature an interview with Stacey Abrams — "a victory lap," per Mero — as the hosts navigate a new political era.

5. Critic's Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan's guide to what to watch (or skip) in the week ahead. This week, he weighs in on The Investigation, We Are the Brooklyn Saints and The Lady and the Dale.

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or Mailbag questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.