Jon Stewart
Photograph by Stephen Lovekin ā€” Getty Images

He'll start out making digital shorts.

By Tom Huddleston, Jr.
November 3, 2015

Jon Stewart’s “retirement” didn’t last too long, as the comedian has already landed with a new network less than three months after stepping away from his longtime gig hosting the Daily Show.

Stewart and HBO announced Tuesday that the entertainer is joining the premium cable network on an exclusive four-year production deal, though the agreement does not call for Stewart to host a new television show ā€” at least, not yet. After spending nearly two decades lampooning everyone from politicians to media conglomerates on Viacom’s VIA Comedy Central, Stewart’s new deal with HBO will initially find him creating regular pieces of “topical short-form digital content,” according to the network’s announcement.

HBO did not disclose financial terms of Stewart’s deal.

By producing digital shorts with HBO, which is owned by Time Warner TWX , “Stewart will view current events through his unique prism,” the network said. He’ll work with the cloud graphics company OTOY to produce content that will go up on HBO streaming services HBO NOW and HBO GO.

“Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me. Iā€™m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again,” Stewart said in a statement.

The deal with HBO also gives the network first crack at other long-form projects Stewart might develop down the line, including films and television shows.

Stewart is no stranger to HBO, having filmed a stand-up comedy special the network aired in 1996. Stewart also appeared on past HBO shows such as Mr. Show with Bob and David and The Larry Sanders Show, while also hosting a 1997 George Carlin stand-up special. Stewart also has at least one familiar face waiting to greet him at the network in the form of John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Oliver is a former Daily Show correspondent who landed at HBO after a successful stint filling in behind that show’s news desk in 2013, while Stewart was on hiatus filming the movie Rosewater.

Stewart’s departure from Comedy Central this year represented one of the biggest recent changes in the shifting late-night television landscape. David Letterman retired as host of CBS’ CBS The Late Show earlier this year, at which point he made way for his replacement (another former Comedy Central late-night host), Stephen Colbert. Meanwhile, Stewart’s replacement, Trevor Noah, hosted his first Daily Show less than two months ago. The influx of new blood into late-night TV has led to stepped-up competition over television ratings as well as the many millions of dollars to be had in advertising sales during those time slots.

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