Just a few months after a month after leaving The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has signed an exclusive four-year deal with HBO to create “short-form digital content” for the network.
“The partnership marks the next phase of Stewart’s groundbreaking career, beginning with short-form digital content, which will be showcased on HBO NOW, HBO GO and other platforms,” the network said in statement on Tuesday.
HBO called the deal “the next phase of Stewart’s groundbreaking career.”
“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.”
The former “Daily Show” host is HBO’s third high-profile addition this year. In July the network invited famous ESPN personality and columnist Bill Simmons. In August HBO signed a deal to premiere new episodes of “Sesame Street”.
Jon Stewart won’t be the only fake newsman on the network. Former correspondent John Oliver is currently the host of HBO’s critically-acclaimed weekly news show “Last Week Tonight”.
Stewart said of his new role: “I’m so excited to be working with Richard [Plepler], Michael and the entire HBO family. 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 retired a few months ago after hosting — and winning Emmys for — “The Daily Show” where he worked since 1999. He was also invited the Academy Awards twice, wrote the bestselling book “Naked Pictures of Famous People,” and co-authored the bestselling books “America (The Book): A Guide to Democracy Inaction” and “Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race.”
In the interviews with The Guardian the host explained why he retired from “The Daily Show”: “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’”
“These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realise, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now.’”
“Seventeen years is the longest I have ever in my life held a job, by sixteen years and five months,” he told the audience when announceing his decision to leave the show. “In my heart, I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity. This show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you.”
After his retirement Stewart was replaced by Trevor Noah who was expected to to catch up to predecessor‘s incredible tenure.
“We made the absolute right choice,” a network representative later told reporters about the new star. “The show needed to evolve.”
Across Noah’s first four weeks, “The Daily Show” was down 32 percent in the coveted 18-49 demographic and down 37 percent among total viewers compared to Stewart’s final quarter (minus his last week). That’s anything but insignificant.