Jon Stewart and HBO are not going forward with his animation project, a setback for what was supposed to be the next step in his post-late-night career.

Stewart, the former host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, was brought on in November 2015 to create digital shorts that would appear on the network's digital apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. But 18 months after signing the deal, the two have agreed to shelve it, saying that the project was more complicated than both sides expected. Stewart signed a four-year contract, and he will remain at HBO to pursue other efforts.

"HBO and Jon Stewart have decided not to proceed with a short form digital animated project," HBO said. "We all thought the project had great potential, but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material. "

Even so, the lost time and investment is significant. The digital shorts were expected to roll out some time ago. The goal was to produce a once-a-day release, but as delays set in HBO executives told Stewart not to set an arbitrary deadline.

Franken says no to presidential bid

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is definitely not running for president in 2020. "I got way, way, way too much to do right now to even think about that, other than to say, 'No, I'm not going to do that,'" Franken told People magazine. The former writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live" has been getting national attention for his tough talk against the Trump administration. He is also releasing a new book, "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate" this month. Minnesota's other U.S. senator, Amy Klobuchar, has also been in the 2020 presidential mix. She has not categorically ruled out running.

Maya Rao

gutted: A New York bar once frequented by Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac has been gutted by a fire. Officials in Northport on Long Island said firefighters doused the flames inside Gunther's Tap Room but the fire reignited before being put out for a second time. Kerouac was a regular at Gunther's for several years after his 1957 novel "On The Road" made him a celebrity.

actress dies: Lisa Spoonauer, an actress who starred in the 1994 award-winning movie "Clerks," has died. She was 44. She died Sunday at her home in Jackson, N.J., the George Hassler Funeral Home said. The cause of death wasn't released. Kevin Smith cast Spoonauer in the role of Caitlin Bree in his first movie, which was set in the New Jersey convenience and video stores where he worked in real life. On Instagram on Tuesday, Smith wrote that she was one of "the chief architects" of the movie, which won him accolades at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Spoonauer soon left acting and became a restaurant manager and event planner.

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