Bill Maher Holds Off on ‘Real Time’ Return as WGA Talks Set to Resume

Bill Maher will not return to his HBO show Real Time this week.

via: Variety

The comedian, who last week vowed to put his topical HBO program back into production, now says he will delay it for a while longer.

“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” he said via social media. “Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of ‘Real Time,’ for now, and hope they can finally get this done.” All of TV’s late-night series have gone dark in recent months due to the strike, but Maher said he could no longer stand by as so many of his below-the-line crew were going without being paid.

In doing so, the iconoclastic host is following the lead of several other prominent hosts who have in recent days opted to halt production plans. Drew Barrymore had planned to start a new cycle of her CBS daytime program, and the network was ready to launch its afternoon series “The Talk.” Both changed course after the plans spurred backlash. The WGA saId it planned to protest outside any production of “Real Time.”

Maher had planned a stripped-down show, one that would have been devoid of many of its signature elements. Under his plan, a “Real Time” episode produced during the strike would not have featured any monologues, humor pieces, or the series’ flagship segment, “New Rules.” “And I’ll say it upfront to the audience: the show I will be doing without my writers will not be as good as our normal show, full stop,” Maher said last week.

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