Bill Maher has reversed course and said he is postponing the return of his HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher in light of the imminent resumption of contract talks between the striking writers union and Hollywood companies.
Maher was initially scheduled to be back on the air on September 22 without writers and feature unscripted conversations, however the willingness of both sides in the writers strike to get back to the negotiating table have changed his mind.
Posting on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday (September 18), Maher wrote: ”My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. 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.”
Drew Barrymore issued a statement on Instagram over the weekend when she said she was putting the return of her talk show on pause until the Hollywood writers and actors strikes end.
Barrymore had been on the receiving end of a media backlash when she said she would bring the show back on today without writers and in accordance with Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) strike rules.
The show is covered by the WGA contract and thus Barrymore - like any other show – would only have been allowed to employ non-union writers or none at all.
SAG-AFTRA strike rules allow an actor to host a talk show. Barrymore and actor guests would have been allowed to talk about their careers and other general subjects but not struck work – any upcoming film or television from Hollywood companies that are signatories to the SAG-AFTRA minimum basic agreement.
The Jennifer Hudson Show and The Talk have also put their returns on hold.