'Time' out: Bill Maher pauses return of 'Real Time', citing progress with WGA strike

ABC Audio/Stephen Iervolino

On Monday, September 18, Bill Maher pulled an about-face, saying his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher wouldn’t be coming back during the Writers Guild of America strike after all.

He claims apparent progress between the writers union and the AMPTP, the group representing the studios, was behind it.

“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” Maher explained on X, formerly Twitter.

“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,” he continued.

The two parties have agreed to meet on Wednesday.

Maher’s post comes as other talk shows that attempted to get back underway while the strike continued, like Jennifer Hudson‘s chat program and, most notably, Drew Barrymore‘s, reversed course amid flak from strikers and fans supporting the writers.

On September 13, Maher vowed to get back to work on a modified program — one without a monologue or scripted segments from WGA writers — as members of the Real Time staff have been “struggling mightily” since the show went dark in May, when the WGA strike began.

“The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns,” he said at the time.

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