Technical problems force HBO to scrap Jon Stewart venture

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 10:41:52-04

NEW YORK (AP) — HBO is scrapping a web-delivered satirical project it was developing with Jon Stewart, a change of plans that keeps the popular political humorist on the sidelines as the Trump administration continues to provide his fellow comedians with comic gold.

“HBO and Jon Stewart have decided not to proceed with a short-form digital animated project,” the network said Wednesday. “We all thought the project had great potential but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material.”

The statement added that other projects with Stewart are in the works “which you will be hearing about in the near future.”

The four-year exclusive pact between Stewart and HBO was announced in November 2015, three months after Stewart ended his 17-year run as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

HBO said then that the partnership would launch with an animated parody of a cable news network allowing Stewart to comment on daily breaking news in real time. It was to be showcased on HBO Now and HBO Go as well the linear channel. The project entailed what HBO called pioneering digital technology.

No start date for the animated series was declared at the time, but last summer HBO voiced hope that it would premiere before the end of 2016.

Since exiting “The Daily Show,” Stewart has kept a relatively low profile. He makes occasional guest appearances on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” most recently earlier this month, when Colbert hosted a reunion with Stewart and other “Daily Show” alums.