Apple Cancels Jon Stewart’s “The Problem” Amid Creative Differences
In an unexpected turn of events, Apple has decided to abandon plans for an eight-episode third season of “The Problem,” a talk show hosted by Jon Stewart. The series, which marked Stewart’s return to the talk show space, was halted prematurely due to creative differences between the former “Daily Show” host and the tech giant.
As reported by The New York Times, the cancellation was prompted by disagreements between Stewart and Apple concerning the show’s potential topics and guests. The New York Times revealed that Stewart informed his staff about Apple’s reservations, particularly regarding discussions related to China and artificial intelligence. Season three’s production had already commenced, and filming was poised to begin shortly.
Apple, as of now, has not offered an official comment on the matter.
Sources familiar with the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that tensions had been building between Jon Stewart and Apple as they prepared for the third season of “The Problem.” The sources indicated that Apple approached Stewart, emphasizing the need for both parties to be “aligned” regarding the show’s topics. However, Stewart reportedly resisted the idea of being “hamstrung” by Apple, which, in response, threatened to cancel the series. Rather than compromise his creative control, Stewart decided to walk away from the show.
This decision to “unrenew” “The Problem” comes after Apple and Stewart transitioned the show to a weekly release schedule for its second season. In its freshman run, the series had episodes released every other week during the fall of 2021.
In 2020, Jon Stewart signed a multi-year agreement with Apple, which included “The Problem” and other development projects produced through his Busboy Productions banner. Throughout its two-season run, “The Problem” garnered five Emmy nominations, demonstrating the quality and relevance of the show within the competitive talk show landscape.
“The Problem” was executive produced by Jon Stewart and featured Brinda Adhikari as showrunner, along with James Dixon and former HBO CEO Richard Plepler through Eden Productions. Chris McShane served as co-executive producer, Lorrie Baranek as supervising producer, and Chelsea Devantez as head writer.
The series’ cancellation underscores the complexities of aligning creative vision and corporate interests in the ever-evolving world of digital content and streaming platforms.