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HBO’s REAL TIME… & REAL SPORTS… Return for Landmark Seasons

by Jef Dinsmore
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RealTime_S20Two stalwart personalities, and their respective shows, are back at it once again. Bill Maher and his REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER and Bryant Gumbel with REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are both returning with all-new seasons. Both are setting milestones while they’re at it.  

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER will return for its landmark 20th season – making Maher the longest-serving late-night host currently on the air – FRIDAY, JANUARY 21 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT), with a replay at 12:30am. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, one-on-one interviews with news-making guests, roundtable discussions with panelists and “Real Time” viewers’ favorite, “New Rules.” 

“For 20 years, Bill Maher has charted a new course for political comedy, sharing his fearless take on the big issues of the day while making us laugh and keeping us better informed,” said Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President, Programming. “We’re remarkably proud of our partnership with Bill and his incredible team, and we look forward to seeing what he will tackle in this milestone season.”

Not to be outmatched is Mr. Gumbel’s accomplishments. He and his colleagues are about to launch a 28th season! Once you’ve got a show racking up those many years, every season is a milestone. While Maher pops a poster and a video clip at us Gumbel plays it differently – he is just simply back to work showcasing both the best in sports and the big sports issues. It’s business as usual. The January segments are diverse and interesting as always:

CHINA GAMES/IOC: Amid reports of China’s detention of more than one million ethnic Uyghurs, “Real Sports” explores the troubling relationship between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and China’s campaign of repression ahead of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Isobel Yeung reports. Producer: Josh Fine.

SKATE MATES: Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinksi, former Olympic figure skaters turned powerhouse analyst team, describe themselves as long-lost platonic soulmates who met later in life. Their on-screen chemistry, fueled by coordinated outfits, may be one of the most exciting primetime performances at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. Soledad O’Brien reports. Producer: Katie Melone.

SPORTS GAMBLING: Three years ago, a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for legalized sports wagering in the United States. In a short time, the market has exploded with sports leagues, teams and the leagues’ broadcast partners capitalizing on the opportunity. Everyone has benefitted except for one group — the gamblers who become addicted. Jon Frankel reports. Producer: Jake Rosenwasser.


For the record, BACK ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS also returns. His recent return places this show in its sophomore season. He will weigh in quarterly on HBO. The brand-new episode will feature interviews with decorated Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and broadcasting legend, Al Michaels. Former NFL cornerback and television/radio personality Domonique Foxworth and author/columnist Howard Bryant will join contributor Bomani Jones for the in-studio roundtable discussion.

Welcome back to the lineup!

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