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

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

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I don't mind Oliver. I can't think of anyone else who'd be better besides Samantha Bee, but I think Oliver's always been second in line. As long as most of the content is the same, I'm good. I don't like any talk shows for the interviews, anyway.

Oxygen does sound like Roswell, but with current television standards. So it sounds bad, but we'll see. Would've been better if we knew what the alien actually does...besides crunches, of course.
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I'd have been all for it even if the whole show took a hiatus (obviously everyone outside of Stewart still has to put food on the table and all so that would be pretty crummy for them though), hard to keep track of it when it's new eps all time (although on occasion when it does go on break I miss it).

Anyway, I hope his endeavor turns out good, haven't see Stewart anywhere near a film for the most part since The Faculty (which I love when he brings up :P ) . Although not "too" good so as to make him leave for good ;) .

Also, while I have nothing against Oliver, why does it feel like he's the top dog there? I dunno, is it because he is also one of the more involved show writers unbeknownst to me? I like him, I guess I just am not terribly excited at the idea of him helming the desk for that long....granted I'm not sure who would be better...except maybe Jason Jones, but I'm biased :P .
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Ya my first thought was Oxygen sounds like Roswell... but I like Aimee so I may check it out.
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Gothica sounds vaguely like the league of extraordinary gentlemen
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I love how after everything he's done he's still Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan
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Oxygen sounds like Roswell.... and Dorian Grey is about a painting that comes to life.
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So far all the ideas for new, upcoming shows have sounded really terrible to me. I'm such a cynic.
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Wow, actual time off. John Oliver has guest hosted before, he's my favorite correspondant on the show and one of the best comedians on the circuit today, but he wasn't quite as good as Stewart when it came to hosting duties.

The Esquire Network sounds like the perfect programming for nobody, who is really going to tune into that? Both sound too low-rent for their magazine readers, and the douches who pretend they read the magazine probably don't watch TV, too busy going to date-rape seminars and such.

That's cute that Fox thinks replacing The Speed Network with Fox Sports 1 will matter to anybody. ESPN is a decades-old juggernaut, Speed Network is carried I think by half the number of households.

Geez, you weren't kidding about Greg Garcia getting a new job, there it is 2 paragraphs later, working with Beau Bridges again after My Name is Earl.

HA! "leaves the priesthood to become a top lawyer", oh man does that sound pretentious and stupid and hilarious. TV just realized the medical show is out, and figures the lawyer show will fill the void. Not good.
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"That's cute that Fox thinks replacing The Speed Network with Fox Sports 1 will matter to anybody. ESPN is a decades-old juggernaut, Speed Network is carried I think by half the number of households."

Actually, most households have Speed, although yes I'm sure ESPN is in more.

You must be one of those guys who said "cell phones will never displace landlines" or "dial up will never go away". It doesn't matter how old ESPN is, what matters is how good your product is. And look around, Fox is always superior at sports broadcasting, whether it's coverage of NFL, Nascar, or UFC (which happen to be the top rated sports by the way). ESPN isn't infallible; it will matter to everyone once Fox starts to use their huge treasure chest to steal major sporting contracts, which they will do in time. And that's why its' long overdue, Fox is far too successful at sports to not have jumped into a national sports network.

Now i'm not saying they will win anytime soon but down the road they will be a major challenger to ESPN. Everything Fox does tends to turn to gold. There were plenty in the 80s who said a fourth broadcast network wouldn't be successful or a competitor to CNN wouldn't work out. And Fox can challenge ESPN in ways CBS and NBC can't.

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ESPN isn't "old tech" to Fox Sports 1's "new tech" though, they're the same technology.

My research says that Speed is carried in 90 million households but only 60 million in HD, while ESPN is carried by 100 million households in HD.

Fox Sports hasn't been all success, their Fox Soccer Network tanked and is being turned into FX2/FXX.
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"ESPN isn't "old tech" to Fox Sports 1's "new tech" though, they're the same technology."

It's pretty much the same principle though, Fox Sports coverage tends to be better and trendsetting (and mainly through groundbreaking technology with their Fox box, various camera angles, and use of superior announcing such as Bradshaw, DW, and Joe Buck). Fox has always been ahead in these areas, while everyone else is behind. That's why I say they'll be successful. The only thing I can think of that ESPN may do best is college football...although when Fox carried the BCS most considered it to be better than ABC/ESPN. Especially when Bradshaw etc. (NFL) and various MLB announcers were used. ESPN unfortunately still uses the ancient Musburger for top playcalling. It's bad decision making like that that will allow Fox to be a top competitor (long term, I'm not saying immmediately).

It's the fact that Fox products tend to be better run that allow the company to be successful. Your research confirms my argument that Speed is in most homes and the higher rates charged by Fox will allow it to improve in whatever aspect (HD, etc.) it lacks. And where's your proof that Fox soccer was unsuccessful? What standard did you use? It was a niche network like Speed; it was never going to as mainstream as a lot of networks and had a more narrow expectation. Speed was successful but Fox needed an established outlet to launch its national network, which will be able to be more mainstream. The same principle works FXX and the soccer network. I would have uses Fox Reality as the example of tanking.
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'Lanter will play an E.T. with abs that goes to a normal human high school and gets involved with a human girl': So...it's Roswell? Minus a brother and sister alien...
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I hope that things work out for Sam Neill on TV this time, I really do.
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Abrams pilot Believe doesn't make me believe in it. To me it sounds ridiculous.
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Seth Gabel! J.J. Abrams! my blood is pumping so fast. How exciting, unlike watching John Oliver for 8 weeks. ugh. Maybe they could have rotated people as host. Like Samantha Bee, John Hodgman, Jason Jones, Aasif Mandvi, and so on.
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Or maybe expand Colbert to an hour for those eight weeks.
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Seth Gabel got a stable job (I hope) - great news! He was really good in Fringe.
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I love John Oliver, but I wish they'd let Samantha Bee host The Daily Show too.
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Good casting for Gothica I loved Gabel in Fringe
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But what will I do without my sombrero vanity cards?
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LOL... that redneck joke.

The Ordained sounds like a snooze-fest, but Emmanuelle Chriqui?? Now you have my attention.
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Dorian Grey is the guy who has a painting of himself that ages instead of him.
Murdoch already has sports channels in Europe - sky sports
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The painting also showed every "debaucherous" act done by Dorian Gray (a hedonist) as a grotesque deformity. one of my favorite stories.
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The Ordained show description is hilarious
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Great to see Dale Cooper on another pilot, especially from J.J.!
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Good idea for Fox to start a sports channel. I think they'll be successful in this just like they've been in everything else. Speed's output will immediately put them in competetition with ESPN. I do think they could have done this ten years ago though. It's long overdue.
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Seth Gabel was great playing Count Vertigo in Arrow ..
i think he have the face for this kind of characters ..
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Oliver is a terrible replacement for Stewart. When was the last time The Daily Show had a great correspondent? I swear just a few years ago they had a never ending pipeline of comedians but now, what happened? It's not like hollywood is dying to grab any of them anymore. It is good to see Stewart branch out and try new things every now and then though.
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I respectfully disagree. I think Oliver is by far the funniest of their current stable of "reporters." He was also really good in his few appearances on Community.

If you'll recall, Colbert was also a correspondent who occasionally filled in for Jon (and even original TDS host Craig during his brief suspension for inappropriate comments about Lizz Winstead). Frankly, he wasn't particularly good in the role but has certainly come a long way since then.
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He may be the "funniest of the current stable of reporters" but that means practically nothing when consider that the current stable is a far cry from the glory days of good reporters. The only reason to watch the show is for Jon, he's fantastic. But most of the recent correspondents are just awful (specifically Oliver, Mandviv, Cenac). Jones and Bee have always been mediocre. They would be better off replacing the show for two months with an hour long Colbert Report. Too much of Oliver's routine resembles a lazy Catherine Tate... look at me I'm British and am saying things in a funny way as opposed to the rare moment he actually says something clever.
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The reason Colbert struggled filling in for Jon is because he was trying to replace Jon Stewart. With the Colbert Report he has created a faux-news show like The Daily Show, but has carved out a niche for himself that wonderfully differentiates and contrasts Jon's approach. I actually remember a time when everybody thought Colbert was a diehard Republican. Remember when Bush invited him to speak at The White House Correspondents Dinner? His uber-Republican persona is so obviously/hilariously mocking the right-wing, the only people who still believe he's GOP are the bible thumpers and FOX news watchers ... So pretty much the whole country.
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I chalked a lot of it up to his general discomfort and inexperience as a host. His guest interview segments in particular were really uncomfortable to watch back then (on TDS, I mean). They've improved a lot since then, although he still doesn't seem to think that any of his guests should be able to do the majority of the talking. I get that his persona is that of a know-it-all blowhard but he should never be speaking more than 50% of the words in a back-and-forth with the guest, yet he often does. It's my only real complaint with the show.
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Right, it probably was harder for Colbert to do the daily show when he wasn't pretending to be Bill O'Reilly. I would agree with your assessment on him being inexperienced at the time as well.
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Oliver is gonna milk this... lol.
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I'll miss Jon for those eight weeks, but I think Oliver can hold down the fort. And the film should be excellent.
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...doesn't Fox already have two sports networks?
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That's the worst news. Poor viewers in need of news.
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NO!!!!!! Greg don't leave my Martha! At least he will be reunited with Beaux Bridges and make some funny-ass comedy. And by the by, so this priest in New York just happened to renew his bar license and do pro bono annually in the hope he might one day rejoin the legal world? Idonthinkso.
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NO not Jon. He and Stephen Colbert are the only American "news" that I can bear watching.

And the Esquire network? That just sounds pretentious and pointless. If it was a gaming network, why not just sell it to Nerdist and be done with it. We don't need a male version of the Oxygen, We, Lifetime, A&E, TLC and the rest of the channels like that.

And I would question CBS' sanity, but they are bringing Emanuelle Chriqui back to TV and it has nothing to do with The Mentalist or Entourage. Thank you CBS, please make it good.
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Well, Gothica sounds interesting. Literary classics + Seth Gabel? Count me in! (And no, that's not sarcastic!)
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yeah, I'm not too big on Frankenstein, etc but Seth Gabel is a good actor, I'd watch a show with him as a lead. Lincoln Lee in both universes was a boss! Hope he returns to Arrow, too
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He was on Arrow? Man, I really need to watch that. John Barrowman and now Seth Gabel...And Alex Kingston. Yep, definitely going to start watching it.
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yes, he played a villain called "the count" he was similar to The Joker from Batman. I recommend watching, definitely worth it
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