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In the months since Jon Stewart rolled his chair away from behind the Daily Show desk, the comedian and political satirist has been quite busy jumping into wrestling rings and reconnecting with his former co-star Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. He will soon finally come back to the small screen on a regular basis, however, thanks to a multi-year deal he signed last year with HBO. Network exec Casey Bloys dropped some well-deserved details about that first project today, and they have us super pumped.
It's an animated parody of a cable news network. It's Onion-like, with video and text. It's very much Jon's voice and tone. . . . [The animation] allows [Stewart] to comment on events in real time.
Love it! After Jon Stewart hooked up with HBO last year, part of me worried that he would be far more invested in the producing side of things rather than performing and writing, and even though we probably won't get to see his actual face on this new series, at least he'll be there in voice and in sharp-witted spirit. As well, this show will tie into the digital shorts portion of Stewart's deal with HBO, but Bloys stated at the TCA press event that it is expected to be put together in a half-hour format and aired on the linear channel as well as online (via Deadline).
Thankfully, the plan is still to get Stewart's new project in front of audiences by September or October, which sounds alarmingly soon for an animated series. Part of the push has been to get it up and running before the Presidential election in November, meaning we wouldn't have to go through an ENTIRE election season without Stewart's salient humor guiding us through the madness. Not that anyone could make sense out of the current race, but still. Getting topical with animation is cool, and that should help keep it in the zeitgeist.
Sure, it might have been cool had Jon Stewart gone with something completely different from the comedy news world that we watched him rule over for 16 years, but if it never broke, then I see nothing wrong with figuring out a new and refreshing way to get the same point across. And if an animated take on the cable news world is what it's going to be, then I'm already getting my cheek muscles stretched so all that smiling won't hurt my face. Especially when there's an Onion comparison involved.
By the end of 2016, we may once again have Jon Stewart and John Oliver on the same network again, and though Stephen Colbert is on CBS, it'll still be great to have the trifecta alive and well on TV again. Expect to hear and see more about Stewart's new digs in the near future, and in the meantime, check out everything else debuting later this year with our fall TV schedule.