Back in May, HBO announced that it had scrapped plans for Jon Stewart’s animated show that had been in the works since Stewart signed a four-year production deal with the network in late 2015. Speaking at TCA yesterday, HBO exec Casey Bloys explained why Stewart and the network ultimately decided to not move forward with the project, which ultimately came down to the high quality demands for the animation paired with the quick turnaround time. Here’s what Bloys said, via The Hollywood Reporter:
“You think about it like a pilot or development — you take a swing and hope it works. In this case, it didn’t work. And you move on,” the premium cable network’s programming president Casey Bloys told reporters Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.
“What Jon was trying to do, which was to get an animation turnaround time of one day, is a very difficult thing to do,” the exec went on to explain, noting that the project centered on sophisticated animation that would involve, for example, facial expressions that could convey comedy. Stewart was ultimately able to get the turnaround time to about two days. “It’s very difficult to do. There’s a reason it hasn’t been done.”
Bloys also said that, even though Stewart “realized he could get close” with the animation side of things, “quality control” was another issue. “It just got to a point where it was like, is this worth his time? Is this worth our time? We kind of thought, ‘You know what? It was a good try, but ultimately not worth it,’” he said. In the meantime, the network announced two new comedy specials from Stewart yesterday, and Bloys said there’s a possibility of more Jon Stewart projects to come: “Yes, there’ll be other things. As a producer, I’m sure he’s got other ideas that he’s thinking about.”