Bill Maher’s Real Time is set to return to streaming on Max, but there’s a notable absence—its writers. Maher announced this decision on Twitter (now known as X), citing the need to bring the show back after a five-month hiatus.
In his tweet, Maher expressed sympathy for the writers’ concerns, acknowledging their important issues. Still, he emphasized that many staff members were struggling, and he wasn’t willing to see an entire year lost while numerous employees faced difficulties.
The show is scheduled to return on Friday, September 22, at 7 p.m. PT. However, it will be noticeably different from its usual format. Maher explained that there won’t be a pre-written monologue, desk piece, “New Rules” segment, or editorial segments.
He candidly admitted that the show without its writers wouldn’t be as good as the normal format but assured viewers that the heart of the show, an off-the-cuff panel discussion aiming to cut through partisan noise, would continue.
The WGA West, which Maher belongs to, responded in a tweet, calling Maher’s decision disappointing. The guild also urged Maher to “honor more than the ‘spirit of the strike,’” referencing a quote from Maher’s announcement earlier Wednesday.
This decision highlights the ongoing impact of the writer’s strike in the entertainment industry and the challenges faced by shows like Real Time as they navigate these complex labor issues. Maher’s return joins Drew Barrymore’s, The Talk and Sherri. The Talk and Barrymore were both picketed. Expect the same for Maher.
For Reel 360 News’ full strike coverage, click here.