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Jon Stewart’s return to TV: Title, premiere plan for former ‘Daily Show’ host’s new series


When it was announced last year that Jon Stewart, the longtime host of “The Daily Show,” was at last returning to TV for a new series, fans rejoiced. Then they wondered: What is this show going to be? And when can we see it? We still don’t know the exact premiere date for the new venture, but today, Apple TV Plus has announced the show’s title, and general information about when viewers should expect it.

So, get ready: the show will be called “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” and it will launch this fall. OK, exactly when this fall we still don’t know, but that’s at least more detail than was included in the initial announcement of the multi-year deal between Stewart and Apple TV Plus.

That so many people are eager to see Stewart back with a regular series reflects the tremendous impact he, and his “Daily Show” team, made. While political humor had long been a regular component of late-night TV monologues, “The Daily Show” combined satire, media critiques and current affairs to such an extent that the Comedy Central series was credited with being a primary news source for many of its viewers.

Stewart stepped away as host of “The Daily Show” in 2015, but the movement to combine comedy and commentary has only gained steam. That trend has much to do with “Daily Show” veterans who have gone on to host their own shows, which feature political commentary along with jokes.

“Daily Show” alums who have kept that show’s approach going strong include Trevor Noah, who inherited the hosting job from Stewart; John Oliver, whose “Last Week Tonight” series on HBO has become the Emmy-winning juggernaut “The Daily Show” used to be; Samantha Bee, who hosts the weekly, half-hour show, “Full Frontal” on TBS; and Stephen Colbert, who followed his former “Daily Show” companion series, “The Colbert Report,” to host CBS’ “The Late Show.” Stewart is an executive producer of Colbert’s show, and since leaving “The Daily Show,” Stewart has occasionally turned up on TV in cameo appearances on “The Late Show.”

“The Problem With Jon Stewart” is, not surprisingly, described as a current affairs series. According to Apple TV Plus, the show is a multiple season, hourlong, single-issue series which will “explore topics that are currently part of the national conversation,” along with Stewart’s advocacy work. Each season of the series will be accompanied with a companion podcast.

Stewart will host and be an executive producer of “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” through his company, Busboy Productions. Other executive producers include showrunner Brinda Adhikari; James Dixon, Stewart’s manager; and Richard Pleper. Chelsea Devantez is head writer, and Lorrie Baranek is the executive in charge of production.

Apple TV Plus isn’t a channel you can find in your cable package. It’s a streaming service available on devices including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung, LG, Sony and VIZIO smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.

— Kristi Turnquist

kturnquist@oregonian.com 503-221-8227 @Kristiturnquist





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