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Good News for REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER

by Jef Dinsmore
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RealTime2024Do you follow HBO’s political commentator Bill Maher? He has been going strong on HBO Friday nights now for twenty-two seasons and counting. He brings people together in an engaging format regardless of whether they sit on the Right or the Left. And we have learned that he will do just that for at least the next couple of years as the show has been renewed. 

That’s saying something, as CEO of WBD David Zaslav has been known to cut down any series on a whim. We guess Zaslav is either a fan or sees the attention Bill Maher brings to the brand and the jokingly serious discussions his panels offer as an asset and as an attention-getter. 

The official word on REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER reads as follows: 

  • HBO has renewed REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER for two more seasons. The series will air on HBO through 2026 and will be available to stream on Max.  
  • Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming, Late Night & Specials, quote: “For 22 seasons and counting, Bill Maher remains a uniquely powerful voice in politics and culture. REAL TIME is the rare place where people can both disagree and find common ground, which is more vital than ever. We’re thrilled to continue working with Bill and his incredibly talented team for two more seasons.” 
  • Bill Maher quote: “Two more years in the dream job of a lifetime, on the network so many dream of being on – I think that’s what we call a no-brainer.”

Also of note, the hour show now gets replays on CNN. That right, starting on SATURDAY, MARCH 23 REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER will air on the sister channel. Says Amy Entelis, EVP, Talent, CNN Originals and Creative Development for CNN Worldwide, “The addition of Real Time With Bill Maher to CNN’s weekend primetime lineup marks the start of a commitment and investment into topical entertainment programming that we’re bringing to the weekends. We’ve seen that audiences enjoy Bill’s perspective and approach to news and information, and we’re looking forward to the show now being on CNN.”

RealTime2024-CNN

At the end of each of his shows Maher has reminded viewers that his Overtime segment could be seen on CNN (and Saturday mornings on YouTube). He has also reminded guests to keep their language in check during that segment because they were appearing on another network that is not as flowing & free with speech as HBO. Now, with airing the program in full, does that mean CNN’s Saturday night replay has someone on a censor button to bleep out offensive words? Or, is CNN willing to play out the show as is?  And, of course, the show will be broken up with advertising blocks to break the flow of the show. Regardless, I’m sure Mr. Maher won’t be changing his viewpoint, his choice of words, or the eclectic line-up of interviewees and panelists he welcomes to the show. 

By the way, since this post arrives on a Friday morning we have tonight’s guest list. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues FRIDAY, MARCH 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/7:00-8:00 p.m. PT). This week features a one-on-one interview with Kara Swisher, host of the podcast “On with Kara Swisher,” co-host of the podcast “Pivot,” and author of “Burn Book: A Tech Love Story.” This week’s panel discussion includes Beto O’Rourke, former Democratic Congressman from Texas and founder of Powered by People; and Sarah Isgur, former lawyer at the US Department of Justice under President Trump, senior editor of The Dispatch, and host of its legal podcast “Advisory Opinions.”

In 2023, Mediaite named Bill Maher #6 on their list of the most influential names in news media and noted, “Each Friday, Maher is able to hit the right topic and right guests to dominate Saturday’s social media buzz, and the comments made by those guests follow them into Sunday interviews and the next week’s conversations in politics and culture.”

To recap the good news then, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER has not been purged by Zaslav, the show has been renewed, in fact, through 2026 and the show will now replay on CNN in  Saturday primetime beginning this week. 

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