HBO Boss On Jon Stewart’s Scrapped Animated Series & Possible Late-Night Return


After a lengthy R&D period, HBO and Jon Stewart in May pulled the plug on his planned topical digital animated series, which had been greenlighted by the previous HBO regime.

“We all thought the project had great potential, but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material,” the two parties said at the time in a joint statement.

During HBO’s portion of the summer TCA press tour today, the network’s president of programming Casey Bloys elaborated on the reasons behind the decision not to see the ambitious project through.

“In terms of quality control and the writing, when you’re putting something out 100 times a day, the quality control has to be there. That combined with the animation turnaround and our distribution – is this worth his time? Is it worth our time?,” he said. “Ultimately we would have kept going, but we would have had to figure the problems on our end… You think of it like a pilot and you hope it works… Knowing what I know now, we’ll see if someone else can figure it out.”

Back in May, HBO and Stewart teased pending “future projects together” under the comedian’s overall deal at the premium cable network. At TCA today, the network announced two specials with Stewart, including his first standup special in 21 years.

Could a late-night show headlined by the former Daily Show host be next? Bloys dismissed the possibility.

“He will come up with other producing ideas but he’s not going to come back and do a show, he’s more active as a producer,” he told Deadline.

Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this report. 

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