HBO Scraps Jon Stewart-Led Digital Animation Venture

HBO and Jon Stewart have scrapped plans for a short-form animation venture that was designed to provide topical segments to various HBO platforms.

The venture was announced in November 2015, shortly after Stewart signed off of “The Daily Show” after a 17-year run. HBO said it would continue to pursue other projects with Stewart. HBO set a four-year production pact with Stewart that included the animation project and a first-look option on film and TV projects.

“HBO and Jon Stewart have decided not to proceed with a short form digital animated project. 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,” HBO said in a statement. “We’re excited to report that we have some future projects together which you will be hearing about in the near future.”

Stewart’s initial plan was to work with cloud graphics company OTOY Inc. on what was described as a new technology to allow him to produce “timely” short-form video content to be featured on various HBO platforms. But after months of working on the project, sources say he was never able to produce the content at the quality he wanted, and a mutual decision was reached to walk away .

“Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me. I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again,” Stewart said when the deal was announced.

HBO is now working with Stewart on additional ideas, and hopes to be able to make an announcement in the coming weeks.

Stewart has mostly kept a low profile since stepping down from “Daily Show.” He’s made several appearances on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” on which he is an exec producer.

Stewart and his wife, Tracey, opened an animal sanctuary on their New Jersey farm in 2015 in partnership with the Farm Sanctuary animal shelter org.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

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