Samantha Bee is officially leaving Comedy Central for TBS with her husband, fellow Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. TBS is giving the veteran comedian her own comedy series to host where she will apply “her smart and satirical point of view to current and relevant issues,” according to TBS. Hmm…sounds familiar. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart loses yet another valued team member in Bee.
Last month, we learned that Jason Jones would be leaving The Daily Show later this year to star in a family comedy sitcom for TBS, which he created and will co-executive produce with his wife. Comedy Central announced that Jones would depart but that Samantha Bee would stay at the network as a correspondent. “We’re thrilled to have Sam join Jason at TBS and really make this a family affair,” said Brett Weitz, executive vice president of original programming for TBS. “We actually have their kids coming in next week to pitch us animation.”
Comedy Central says it has a “short list” of potential replacement hosts for Jon Stewart, who is stepping down from the host chair at an undetermined time later this year. Bee is the most senior correspondent at the show, out-tenured only by Lewis Black who, at this point, is only an occasional contributor. She joined the team in 2003. Her husband was the second-most veteran cast member, having reported on fake news since 2005.
Not giving her (or Jones) the position as Daily Show host outright has cost the network another valuable talent. Speculation continues over who is capable of replacing the Emmy Award-winning Stewart as host of the long-running late night franchise. Other networks seems to be ensuring that the most viable candidates closest to the series are taken out of the game. HBO locked up John Oliver for two more years by renewing Last Week Tonight With John Oliver last month. Jason Jones was taken out of the game with the aforementioned TBS sitcom. Even 25-year-old Jessica Williams humbly addressed suggestions she should take over, to the dismay of those who see in terms of gender and race instead of experience and readiness.
If Sam Bee was on that short list, Comedy Central execs will be shattered if her show becomes a hit. “We absolutely adore everything about Sam, from her straight-faced sarcasm and ruthless wit to her uncanny ability to min comedy gold from just about any awkward situation,” Weitz continued. “After watching Sam’s work for years, we knew that her distinctive humor and talent belong at the front of her own show.” Fans of The Daily Show, and probably a few folks over at the Viacom building, have known that for a very long time.
Lord thundering Jesus this day is about to get exciting.
— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) March 5, 2015