Jon Stewart may have broken his fans’ hearts when he retired from The Daily Show, but all will soon be forgiven. HBO announced Tuesday that it has finalized an exclusive-four year production deal with the beloved TV host, meaning that we have more Stewart projects to look forward to (and not just one-off WWE hosting gigs).
The partnership will kick off with short-form digital content that will be available on HBO Now, HBO Go, and other platforms. Although the first project’s current-events focus will be familiar, it will have a unique format. Stewart will use technology that is being developed with cloud graphics company Otoy Inc. to produce content that the network says “will be refreshed on HBO Now multiple times throughout the day.”
Interestingly, the premium network only mentions frequent refreshes on HBO Now, and the omission of its other platforms doesn’t seem accidental. HBO has been pushing its standalone streaming service, so if HBO Now members were to enjoy a different viewing experience, there would certainly be an incentive for Stewart fans to subscribe. After all, this is the TV host who “led a revolution that changed the face of TV comedy,” in the words of president of HBO programming Michael Lombardo in the press release announcing the deal.
Stewart’s first HBO project also sounds like an ideal way for him to return to TV (or streaming, as the case may be), without the significant time commitment hosting an entire show requires. “Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”
Stewart and HBO have other projects in the pipeline, but the network doesn’t plan to announce them until they are confirmed. The deal also gives the network a first-look option for other film and TV projects.