Apple reportedly signs John Stewart to do multi-season talk show

Stewart, who left The Daily Show in 2015, will be both on-air anchor and an executive producer.

John Stewart, the former host of Comedy Central series The Daily Show, has been signed to a multi-season deal by Apple for the company's Apple TV+ streaming service, according to an article this afternoon by The Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose that did not cite any sources.

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The show, which has not yet been named, is "expected to begin rolling out next year," and will feature Stewart as both an anchor and as executive producer. Stewart's efforts on the program will be joined by former HBO president Richard Plepler, Rose reports. 

Stewart ended his run on The Daily Show in 2015 and has produced a variety of projects -- writing, producing, and directing -- since then, mostly out of the spotlight. His producing role for the Apple show will be through his production company, Busboy Productions.

Apple TV+, which debuted a year ago, has been steadily adding more and more programs. The company last month announced it would incorporate Apple TV+ into an umbrella subscription, called Apple One, that also includes its streaming music service and iCloud membership, and video gaming.

The company is reportedly extending some free Apple TV+ plus subscriptions that came with new hardware purchases and that were due to end next month. 

Apple is in competition with numerous other providers for viewers' attention, including Netflix, HBO, Walt Disney, Amazon, and Hulu. Streaming products are part of Apple's shift from a hardware and software maker to a provider of services that bring the company a recurring source of annual revenue. 

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who covers the company's stock, wrote on Tuesday that the services business will produce more than $60 billion in revenue this fiscal year, and is on pace to rise 15%. 

The services offerings "speak to Apple's ability to further monetize its golden installed base," wrote Ives.

Apple is set to report fiscal first-quarter results Thursday afternoon, after the closing bell.