Jon Stewart finally returns to TV later this year with a new show on Apple TV+, the streamer announced today. The Problem with Jon Stewart—a “one-hour, single-issue series which will explore topics that are currently part of the national conversation”—launches this Fall, exclusively on Apple’s streaming service. It’ll be the comedian and former Daily Show host’s first regular TV gig since leaving his Comedy Central show back in 2015.
And that’s kind of all we know right now. Details are scarce. This thing will exist, as Apple has proclaimed as such, and that’s all we need to know. So hey, let’s get to some speculatin’, eh?
Where will Jon Stewart fit into the TV landscape of 2021? The topical satire infotainment beat he dominated for over 15 years is overstuffed as it is today. You’ve got Trevor Noah over on The Daily Show, Sam Bee doing Full Frontal, Desus and Mero knocking it out of the park on Showtime, John Oliver doing the best possible version of this stuff every week on HBO, and even some of the network late night shows are basically just riffing on what Stewart used to do. (There’s even the ugly mutant Bizarro World version over on Fox, the brand new, terribly named Gutfeld.) Plus, after the post-truth, post-satire, post-everything calamity of the Trump years, The Daily Show-style comedy feels about as musty and insubstantial as a Sherwood Schwartz sitcom. The focus on a single issue will help set it apart from all these other shows, and pointedly the press release makes no reference to Stewart as a comedian, so maybe The Problem won’t even try to be funny. Maybe that’s the best route to take in 2021. Stewart had slipped a bit over the last couple years of The Daily Show, too, but maybe taking several years off and returning with a new format will recharge his batteries.
At this point, we have no idea what to expect from The Problem with Jon Stewart. You’ll learn more whenever we do.