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Real Time With Bill Maher Returns, Writers Stay on Strike: What to Expect

“Real Time With Bill Maher Returns, Writers Stay on Strike: What to Expect”

In a surprising twist, “Real Time With Bill Maher” is gearing up for its return to television screens, but this time, without its usual team of writers. Bill Maher himself announced the show’s imminent return on Twitter, marking the end of a five-month hiatus due to the ongoing writers’ strike.

The venerable host began his tweet by sharing the bittersweet news: “Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing.” He expressed understanding and empathy for his writers’ concerns, acknowledging the “important issues” they are advocating for. Still, Maher also emphasized that a broader array of issues is at stake, affecting not just the writing team but the entire production staff.

Maher’s concern lies with the multitude of staff members who are grappling with hardships as the strike drags on. He stated, “much of the staff is struggling mightily,” and he is not prepared to see an entire year pass while many below-the-line staff members endure such hardships.

The return of “Real Time” is slated for Friday, September 22nd, at 7 p.m. PT. However, viewers should be prepared for a different format than they are accustomed to. The show will lack its usual pre-written monologue, desk piece, “New Rules” segment, or editorial segments. Maher forthrightly conceded that the show without its writers will not be on par with the regular programming. Nevertheless, he assured his audience that the essence of the show, characterized by off-the-cuff panel discussions that seek to dissect the noise of politics, will remain intact. In Maher’s words, “the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bullshit and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint.”

Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing strike. A statement from the WGA made it clear that it will picket any struck shows that proceed with production during the strike, including “Real Time.”

Maher’s decision to resume production comes at a time when several daytime talk shows have made similar choices. With the writers’ and actors’ strikes ongoing, “The Drew Barrymore Show” kicked off the trend by returning to taping without its writers, drawing the attention of picketers in New York. Subsequently, “The Talk,” “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” and “Sherri” also announced their return to the airwaves without their scribes. Notably, a rehearsal taping for “The Talk” witnessed around 50 WGA picketers.

The entertainment industry is navigating challenging waters during this strike period, and “Real Time With Bill Maher” is poised to be another testing ground for how talk shows can continue to engage audiences while their writers remain on the picket lines.

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Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay is an American broadcaster, media blogger, and podcast host. Currently, Ruben is the President of MultiMediaMouth.com and the executive producer and host of the popular podcasts You’re My Best Friend and ON AIR with Ruben Jay, exclusively on MultiMediaMouth.com. Follow Ruben on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok @TheRubenJay.

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