Jon Stewart will be back in the TV saddle before too long: he and HBO have entered a four-year, cross-platform agreement, including a first-look option for the former “Daily Show” host’s film and TV projects.
The news comes three months after Stewart ended his tenure at Comedy Central’s flagship late-night program, and will begin with Stewart producing short-form digital content for online subscription service HBO NOW, which will be refreshed throughout the day. Along with its forthcoming daily newscast from Vice and its recent agreement with Bill Simmons, the move further strengthens HBO’s efforts to expand beyond its prestigious fictional programming to compete in the 24-hour content cycle.
As with Simmons, Stewart may have been lured by the creative freedom for which the premium channel is known, and the first-look option should indeed be attractive to the comedian, who has evinced increasing interest in the world of film. His stint directing “Rosewater”—in addition to setting up “Daily Show” alum John Oliver to pursue his own HBO show, “Last Week Tonight”—was, in retrospect, an early sign that Stewart was looking for a respite from the “Daily Show” grind. The extended, multi-pronged deal with HBO more or less ensures that Stewart won’t grow bored with his new gig anytime soon.
Additional projects will be announced as they are confirmed.