HBO Extends Real Time with Bill Maher Through 2026

HBO’s Friday night talk staple Real Time with Bill Maher is getting at least two more seasons on the premium cable network.

HBO announced Wednesday that Real Time, which debuted in 2003, will air for a 23rd season next year and a 24th season in 2026. It is HBO’s second-longest-running series ever, only behind Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which recently concluded.

Real Time’s current run was set to expire at the end of this year.

“For 22 seasons and counting, Bill Maher remains a uniquely powerful voice in politics and culture,” added HBO programming, late-night and specials chief Nina Rosenstein. “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.” 

Maher added, “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.”

HBO’s decision to renew Real Time comes a few months after HBO extended its other late-night offering, Last Week with John Oliver, for three additional seasons through 2026.

Maher bucked the industry trend last year when he announced that Real Time would resume filming during the writers’ strike and without its striking writers. After receiving backlash from the WGA, Maher changed his mind. He resumed the show two days after the strike ended in September 2023, thanking the writers and other crew members for getting the show back on air.

Maher, who currently hosts the podcast Club Random with Bill Maher, headlined his first HBO special in 1989 and has starred in 12 HBO solo specials to date.

Before joining HBO as the host of Real Time, Maher hosted Politically Incorrect, which aired on Comedy Central from 1993-1997 and ABC from 1997-2002.

Real Time with Bill Maher is executive-produced by Maher, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, Billy Martin; co-executive producer, Chris Kelly; producer, Matt Wood; director, Paul Casey.

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