News Briefs: Jon Stewart Is Taking a Break from The Daily Show to Go Hollywood

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ALMOST DAILY SHOW NEWS

... Jon Stewart is going to take some time off from hosting the The Daily Show this summer to direct a movie! Rosewater will tell the story of Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned by Iran for supposedly plotting a revolution against the government. In other words, the dramatic film won't feature Samantha Bee's commentary on penises. Stewart wrote the script based on Bahari's book Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity and Survival. In his absence, frequent Daily Show correspondent and Queen expert John Oliver will sit in Stewart's chair for eight weeks. [Comedy Central via press release] 

BUSINESS TIME

... The Esquire Network, formerly G4, has ordered two more series in anticipation of its April launch and they're just as terrible as you might have guessed. Risky Listing is a six-part docu-series (i.e. reality garbage) following real estate agents in New York City who broker deals for the hottest nightclubs and bars, and I challenge you to come up with a worse sentence than that. How I Rock It is a six-part series hosted by former NBA player Baron Davis and follows trendsetters in men's style, be it in fashion or food. If I'm not wearing an Ed Hardy shirt while watching it, will the network hunt me down and kill me? [Esquire Network via press release]

... ABC's Shark Tank is getting an extra episode this season, bringing its count to 26. [TV Line]

... News Corp's Rupert Murdoch is getting into sports, and has announced that Fox will be launching Fox Sports 1, an all-sports network designed to play ball with ESPN. The cable channel, due in August, will broadcast NASCAR, Major League Baseball, college football, college basketball, UFC fights, and soccer. And for some reason, 81-year-old Regis Philbin will host a studio show called Rush Hour and go up against his biggest fan in Tony Kornheiser of Pardon the Interruption. [New York Times

... Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia is leaving his post as showrunner of the Fox sitcom, because he's signed a pact with CBS. Executive Producer Mike Mariano will take over as head of the show, which was just renewed for a fourth season. Don't you worry about Garcia, though, he's got like 20 pilots in the works this season and he'll have a job by the spring. [Deadline Hollywood]

CASTING NEWS

... CBS's summer reality show The American Baking Competition has a host: Jeff Foxworthy. The show isn't about taking massive rips of sweet chiba off a Vaporizer; instead, it challenges contestants to cook all sorts of goodies in the oven. Foxworthy is best known for spreading his redneck humor, including gems like "You might be a redneck if you ever cut your grass and found a car," while he deposits a check for millions of dollars. The American Baking Competition debuts May 29 at 8pm on CBS. [CBS via press release]

... Beau Bridges has joined the cast of CBS's untitled multi-camera sitcom from Greg Garcia starring Will Arnett as a newly divorced dad whose parents have their own marriage problems. Bridges will play the father of Arnett's character who moves in with his son. Margo Martindale (The AmericansJustified) and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (New GirlIt's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) were previously cast as the mother and sister, respectively. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan has joined NBC's pilot Believe, from producer J.J. Abrams. The drama follows a gifted young girl who forms an unlikely relationship with an ex-con who protects her from evil forces. MacLachlan will play a mysterious billionaire. [TV Line]

... 90210 chunk o' hunk Matt Lanter has landed the lead role of alien boy in the interspecies CW romance pilot Oxygen. Lanter will play an E.T. with abs that goes to a normal human high school and gets involved with a human girl played by Aimee Teegarden. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Sam Neill (Alcatrazzzzz) and Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) have joined CBS's pilot The Ordained. The show is about a man from a powerful family who leaves the priesthood to become a top lawyer at a New York law firm and I laugh every time I read I read that logline. Neill will play the man's father, and Chriqui will play his neighbor. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Seth Gabel (Fringe!) has joined Gothica, ABC's pilot set in modern day that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Frankenstein, Dorian Grey, and others. Gabel will play a district attorney who I can only assume turns into a vampire at night or is made up of pieces of cadavers or whatever Dorian Grey is. [Deadline Hollywood]



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom