Jon Stewart's reason for parting ways with Apple TV+ offers a glimpse into the fury he'll unload on 'The Daily Show'
- Jon Stewart finally revealed why his Apple TV+ show "The Problem" got canceled.
- The host told CBS the streaming platform didn't want him to say things that might get him into "trouble."
American talk show host Jon Stewart has returned to "The Daily Show" after a nearly decadelong hiatus — a move that comes just months after Apple TV+ canceled his show "The Problem With Jon Stewart" last October.
And for the first time, the beloved late-night television host himself has finally revealed just why the tech giant ended the show.
"I very much wanted to have some kind of place to unload thoughts as we get into this election season. And I thought I was going to do it over at Apple TV+," Stewart told "CBS Mornings" during an interview on Monday morning. "But they decided that they felt they didn't want me to say things that might get me in trouble."
When asked if the urgency he feels to discuss the 2024 US presidential election comes from his fears over what's happening in the country, Stewart responded with what appears to be a self-deprecating comment about his age.
"I just thought, who better to comment on this election than someone who truly understands two aging men past their prime," the talk show host told CBS. "I mean, look at me baby. This is where it's at," he continues as he points to himself.
On the question of whether Stewart sees his comeback as a ploy to exert political influence, he noted that it's not a matter of power but of providing "air support" to "those on the ground actually doing the work" in an entertaining way.
"I'm hoping to have a catharsis and a way to comment on things and a way to express them in a way that hopefully people will enjoy," he said.
Stewart's spokesperson didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment before publication. Neither did Apple.
Stewart's comments on why he rejoined "The Daily Show" come just months after the talk show host was embroiled in editorial disputes with Apple TV+ over his show "The Problem," The New York Times first reported.
Sources told the Times that Stewart parted ways with the tech giant after executives expressed concerns over potential show topics related to China, artificial intelligence, and the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Stewart's creative direction, sources say, didn't align with Apple's editorial vision.
The Apple TV+ show, which released its first episode in September 2021, was canceled in October 2023 after two seasons. The show struggled with slumping viewership, inconsistent episodes, and mixed reviews, Bloomberg reported.
Now that Stewart is back at "The Daily Show," at least on Monday nights, the talk show host now has to face a new challenge: getting younger viewers back on board. Since leaving the show in 2015, viewership for "The Daily Show" dropped by 75% — from 2.2 million viewers a night to 570,000 — by the end of 2023. The median age of his audience rose from 48.2 years old to 63.3 years old during that same timeframe.
Still, after a rotating cast of guest hosts since Trevor Noah's departure from the show in 2022, some network executives seem to be grateful that Stewart is back at the helm with the hope that he will help demystify American politics for viewers.
"Jon Stewart is the voice of our generation, and we are honored to have him return to Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show' to help us all make sense of the insanity and division roiling the country as we enter the election season," Chris McCarthy, the president and CEO of Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios, said regarding his return.
The late-night talk show will air starting this Monday night at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. Episodes will be released on Paramount+ the day after.
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