The Problem with Jon Stewart
Genre
Created byJon Stewart
Written byKris Acimovic (head writer)[1]
Presented byJon Stewart
Theme music composerGary Clark Jr.
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20
Production
Executive producers
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseSeptember 30, 2021 (2021-09-30) –
April 6, 2023 (2023-04-06)
Related
The Daily Show

The Problem with Jon Stewart is an American current affairs television series hosted by Jon Stewart on Apple TV+. Each episode focuses on a single issue. The series premiered on September 30, 2021. The second season premiered on October 7, 2022. The series was canceled in October 2023 after two seasons.[2]

Production

In October 2020, as part of a multi-year production deal with Apple, it was announced that Jon Stewart was creating a new current affairs series for Apple TV+, marking his return to the format since leaving The Daily Show in 2015.[3]

Throughout early 2021, the show was building out its production team, hiring Brinda Adhikari to serve as showrunner and executive producer, Chelsea Devantez as head writer, and Lorrie Baranek as Stewart's executive in production in February 2021.[4] Adhikari was a longtime network news veteran before coming on to the show.[5] Around the same time, Busboy Productions posted job listings seeking to fill positions for all aspects of the production.[6]

On April 7, 2021, the title of The Problem with Jon Stewart and a late 2021 premiere date for the series were announced.[7]

Each episode lasted one hour and focused on a single issue that was "currently part of the national conversation and [Stewart's] advocacy work". Apple had said that the show would run for multiple seasons, and that each season would be accompanied by a companion podcast, co-hosted by Stewart and his writing and production staff and following up on each episode.[8][9][10]

The series began filming in front of a live studio audience in New York City on July 14, 2021.[11]

On October 19, 2023, it was announced that the show was cancelled due to creative differences between Stewart and Apple,[2][12] which reportedly involved the show's coverage of artificial intelligence, Israel, and China.[13][14] On The Daily Show on April 8th 2024, in an interview with FTC Chair Lina Khan, Stewart "rip[ped] into Apple",[15] saying that when he wanted to have Khan on the show, "Apple asked us not do it", presumably due to the FTC's antitrust actions against Silicon Valley firms under her leadership:

“They literally said ‘please don’t talk to her,’ ...having nothing to do with what you do for a living, I don’t think they cared for you.”

According to CNN, Stewart also stated that Apple "wouldn't let him talk about AI", which he did on the same episode of The Daily Show before his interview with Khan.

“What is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to have these conversations out in the public sphere?”

CNN also cited Israel among the list of topics Stewart clashed with Apple on. Stewart addressed the Israel Hamas war on The Daily Show in two segments on Feb. 26th, 2024.[16]

Episodes

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18September 30, 2021 (2021-09-30)March 24, 2022 (2022-03-24)
212October 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)April 6, 2023 (2023-04-06)

Season 1 (2021–22)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date [17]Prod.
code [17]
11"Veterans"September 30, 2021 (2021-09-30)101

Jon Stewart addresses American war veterans' health issues, specifically from burn pits. He speaks to some veterans who say that the Veterans Health Administration doesn't completely cover their treatment if the standard of proof for causality isn't met.[further explanation needed]

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough sits down for an interview. This episode concludes with a cameo by Ken Burns.
22"COVID-19 Restrictions"[18]October 14, 2021 (2021-10-14)102
Jon Stewart sits down with Bassem Youssef, Francisco Marquez Lara, and Maria Ressa for a discussion on the inconsistency and vagueness in American discussions of "freedom".[further explanation needed] The panelists contrast their repression as journalists and activists in Egypt, Venezuela, and the Philippines with perceived abridgments of freedom in America. Ressa argues that the Philippines, where she claims per capita activity on American-run social media platforms is the highest globally, is a bellwether of the destructive influence of algorithmically tailored misinformation on democracies.
33"Working-Class Economy"October 28, 2021 (2021-10-28)103

Jon talks about how the US government frequently bails out corporations and the rich, but any talk of government assistance to the non-wealthy is dismissed as "socialism". He says that Tim Geithner told him that the government shouldn't pay the mortgages of people who had defaulted during the 2007–2010 subprime mortgage crisis because of "moral hazard."

Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen sits down for an interview.

Panel: Douglas Holtz-Eakin (former director of the Congressional Budget Office). Darrick Hamilton (professor at the New School). Amy Jo Hutchison. Magaly Licolli.

Guest(s): LeVar Burton, Jason Alexander, and Adam Pally star in a mock movie trailer satirizing Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson's ventures in space tourism.
44"Gun Control"November 11, 2021 (2021-11-11)104

Jon focuses on the link between domestic violence and gun violence.[further explanation needed][19] He interviews two women, April Ross and Janet Paulsen, whose husbands sought to kill them for wanting to leave abusive marriages.

Jon interviews David Chipman and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Guests: Niecy Nash and Thandiwe Newton.[20]
55"Stock Market"March 3, 2022 (2022-03-03)105

Jon discusses the stock market, juxtaposing its ownership inequality with its supposed democratization. He explains that with Robinhood Markets, an investor's money doesn't go directly to the stockbroker; instead, the money goes to a payment for order flow (PFOF) handler such as Citadel LLC. Sometimes, market makers "slip the order into what are called dark pools" according to Stewart. He describes "dark pools" as "private exchanges."

Steward expresses cynicism about PFOF because he credits Bernie Madoff with the idea. He next jokes regarding investors' money, "Bernie made off!" Later, he compares Robinhood Markets to FanDuel.

66"Climate Change"March 10, 2022 (2022-03-10)106

Jon lampoons the media’s over-reliance on sensationalist tactics to convey urgency while still failing to provide meaningful, actionable solutions; covers the oil industry’s 20th-century propaganda campaign to individualize the collective responsibility for environmental stewardship, discusses how humans’ track record on similar issues suggests further inaction, shows montage with public statements about tackling climate change reaching back to George Bush 41.

A short satirical video from Ed Begley Jr. leads to the panel.

Sunita Narain, PhD, Director General at the Center for Science and Environment, hosts an intermission piece about the material impacts of climate change on the global south, relevant broken political promises, and future needs.

After a second convening of the panel, Jon interviews with Ben Van Beurden, CEO of Shell.

  • Guests: Katherine Dixon IEA Chief Counselor, former Shell VP of Strategy for Energy Transition, Jesse Jenkins, PhD, Professor of Energy Systems Engineering at Princeton University, Heather Toney, VP of Community Engagement at Environmental Defense Fund
77"Media"March 17, 2022 (2022-03-17)107

Jon Stewart discusses the United States cable news networks and their attempts to boost Nielsen ratings. Stewart also discusses Christopher Rufo receiving media attention for voicing his opposition to critical race theory (CRT).

88"Racism"March 24, 2022 (2022-03-24)108

Stewart criticizes white politicians' responses to the George Floyd protests and says that black American intellectuals and artists, including Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, and Sister Souljah have been articulating similar messages about systemic racism in America for centuries. In montages of news clips at which Stewart aims his criticisms, Bill O'Reilly cites Oprah Winfrey as an example of a successful woman "who made it on her own in America." Anthony Scaramucci says, "LeBron James is a great American success story." Bill O'Reilly blames poverty on the "collapse of the traditional family that is hurting the African American community." Bernard Goldberg says, "72% of black babies are born to single mothers." Stewart compares racial stereotypes in news coverage of drug crises and poverty.[21]

Stewart cites the GI education benefit as an example of racial discrimination against black Americans. He interviews Lisa Bond, who says, "All of us white people do this [engage in racism]." Bond goes on to claim, "Every single white person upholds the systems and structures of racism."[22]

Stewart travels to Washington DC to interview U.S. Senators Tim Scott (Room 104) and Cory Booker (Room 717) in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Season 2 (2022–23)

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2023)
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date [17]Prod.
code [17]
91"The War Over Gender"October 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)201
102"Where Is Our Tax Money Going?"October 13, 2022 (2022-10-13)202
113"Globalization: Made In America"October 20, 2022 (2022-10-20)203
124"Midterms: This Is What Democracy Looks Like?"October 27, 2022 (2022-10-27)204
135"Allies: Friends Without Benefits"November 3, 2022 (2022-11-03)205
146"Election Wrap-Up Special"November 10, 2022 (2022-11-10)206
157"Chaos, Law, and Order"March 2, 2023 (2023-03-02)207
168"The Military Industrial Excess"March 9, 2023 (2023-03-09)208
179"The Inflation Blame Game"March 16, 2023 (2023-03-16)209
1810"America's Incarceration Epidemic"March 23, 2023 (2023-03-23)210
1911"Searching for Allies"March 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)211
2012"Trump Indicted"April 6, 2023 (2023-04-06)212

Release

The Problem with Jon Stewart premiered its first episode on September 30, 2021, on Apple TV+, with one new episode initially scheduled to premiere every other Thursday. The series is accompanied by a weekly podcast that premiered on September 30, 2021.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ White, Peter (February 28, 2022). "Chelsea Devantez Strikes Overall Deal With 20th Television". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Mullin, Benjamin; Kolbin, John; Mickle, Tripp (October 19, 2023). "Jon Stewart's Show on Apple Is Ending". Media. The New York Times. ISSN 1553-8095. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved October 19, 2023.
  3. ^ Rose, Lacey (October 27, 2020). "Jon Stewart Returns With Current Affairs Series for Apple (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Rose, Lacey (February 23, 2021). "Jon Stewart Taps Showrunner, Producing Team for Apple Show (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  5. ^ Rose, Lacey (September 30, 2021). "Jon Stewart's New Showrunner on "Intense" Expectations, Diversity and that "Dicks In Space" Video". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  6. ^ "HIRING IN ALL DEPARTMENTS". Media Bistro. Archived from the original on February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Rose, Lacey (April 7, 2021). "Jon Stewart Sets Title, Launch Plans for Apple Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 12, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "Apple reveals series title for Jon Stewart's highly anticipated return to television as "The Problem with Jon Stewart," to debut in fall 2021 on Apple TV+" (Press release). Apple Inc. April 7, 2021. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Problem with Jon Stewart companion podcast". Apple Podcasts. Apple Inc. March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Santer, Kristin (August 30, 2021). "'The Problem With Jon Stewart' Trailer Reveals the Suit's Return and a Release Date on Apple TV+". Collider. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  11. ^ White, Peter (July 12, 2021). "'The Problem With Jon Stewart' To Shoot in Front of a Live, Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 12, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 19, 2023). "Jon Stewart's 'The Problem' Canceled at Apple Amid Creative Differences". The Hollywood Report. Retrieved October 19, 2023.
  13. ^ Pulliam-Moore, Charles (October 19, 2023). "Jon Stewart's Apple TV Plus show ends, reportedly over coverage of AI and China". The Verge. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  14. ^ Goldman, David (October 20, 2023). "Jon Stewart's show on Apple is over because of disagreements about China". CNN. Retrieved October 23, 2023. CEO Tim Cook made a surprise visit to China last week to drum up sales for Apple's products and government support for the company's manufacturing operations in the country. So a potentially critical look at China on Stewart's show, streamed by Apple, may not have sat well with the consumers and officials Cook is hoping will help boost Apple's bottom line in the region.
  15. ^ https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/02/media/jon-stewart-lina-khan-apple-interview/index.html
  16. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/jon-stewart-israel-palestine-conflict-the-daily-show-1234976477/
  17. ^ a b c d "Shows A-Z – The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  18. ^ "Freedom – The Problem With Jon Stewart | Apple TV⁠+". Apple TV. October 13, 2021.
  19. ^ The Problem With Jon Stewart Examines Domestic Violence to Gun Violence Pipeline
  20. ^ Guns and Domestic Violence Panel | The Problem With Guns, The Problem With Jon Stewart | Apple TV+
  21. ^ "The Problem With White People". YouTube. The Problem With Jon Stewart. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  22. ^ "The Problem with White People".
  23. ^ "Jon Stewart Attempted To Have White People Address Race, With Frustrating Results". Retrieved March 27, 2022.