The farm life didn’t last long. After a short break, former Daily Show host/executive producer Jon Stewart is returning to television with an exclusive four-year production pact at HBO. Unlike the pact fellow Daily Show alum John Oliver signed with the pay cable network, Stewart’s agreement does not call for him to launch a TV show, at least not immediately.
It will start with short-form digital content, which will be showcased on HBO NOW, HBO GO and other platforms, but includes a first-look option for film and TV ventures.
In his first project for HBO under the new deal, Stewart will work with the cloud graphics company OTOY Inc. to develop new technology that will allow him to produce timely, current-events-focused short-form digital content, which will be refreshed on HBO NOW multiple times throughout the day.
“Jon Stewart led a revolution that changed the face of TV comedy on the Daily Show,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “He graced our network nearly 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to welcome back his immense talents in this next chapter of his career.”
HBO now has three top late-night hosts on his roster, with Stewart joining Oliver and Bill Maher. Stewart hinted that he may not be ready yet to return to the grind of mounting a full-length TV show on a regular basis.
“I’m so excited to be working with Richard [Plepler], Michael and the entire HBO family,” he said. “Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me. I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”
Stewart recently wrapped his 16-year run on The Daily Show with three more Emmy Awards, bringing his haul for the show to 23 Emmys. Stewart’s HBO credits include the standup special Jon Stewart: Unleavened, hosting the special George Carlin: 40 Years Of Comedy, Mr. Show With Bob And David and a recurring role on The Larry Sanders Show.
For HBO, the Jon Stewart deal joins such high-profile recent pacts as signing Bill Simmons and acquiring the rights to Sesame Street. Stewart is repped by WME and Dixon Talent.