‘No Brainer’: HBO Renews Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ For 2 More Years

HBO announced that “Real Time with Bill Maher” has been renewed through its 24th season in 2026.

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,” Maher said in a statement.

The show, which was previously set to conclude at the end of this year, debuted on HBO in 2003 and became one of the premium channel’s longest-running series, coming in only second to “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble,” The Hollywood Reporter noted.

“For 22 seasons and counting, Bill Maher remains a uniquely powerful voice in politics and culture,” said Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO programming, late night, and specials. 

“‘Real Time’ is the rare place where people can both disagree and find common ground, which is more vital than ever,” she added. “We’re thrilled to continue working with Bill and his incredibly talented team for two more seasons.”

Maher faced some controversy in September after announcing that his late-night talk show would return amid the ongoing Hollywood writers strike.

“‘Real Time’ is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher said at the time. “It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. 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.”

“Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily,” he added. “We all were hopeful this would come to an end after Labor Day, but that day has come and gone, and there still seems to be nothing happening. I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much.”


“I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on ‘Real Time,’” Maher continued. “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. But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bulls*** and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint.”

A short time later, he reversed course, and then his show resumed two days after the Writers Guild of America strike ended in September.