After initially declaring his show would return amid the writers strike, talk show host Bill Maher announced Monday he has reversed that decision for the time being.
“Real Time with Bill Maher’s” 21st season was cut short after Hollywood writers went on strike in May. Writers are asking for higher pay, a guaranteed number of writers per room, better residuals and safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the writing process in their list of demands. With no foreseeable end to the strike, Maher initially revealed that the show would return without writers and simply skip the segments that rely on writers.
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” he wrote last week. “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,” noting later that “there still seems to be nothing happening” in terms of negotiations.
However, there now appears to be progress in the negotiations.
Talk show host Bill Maher initially declared “Real Time with Bill Maher” would return, but now that negotiations are underway, he is putting the show on hold once again. (Bill Maher photo by by John Shearer/Getty Images and Strike photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
“The WGA and AMPTP now have a confirmed schedule to bargain this week, starting on Wednesday,” the writers guild wrote in a memo to members on Monday morning. “You might not hear from us in the coming days while we are negotiating, but know that our focus is getting a fair deal for writers as soon as possible.”
With the news of negotiations resuming, Maher postponed the return of “Real Time with Bill Maher” out of solidarity.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” he wrote on Monday. “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.”
Maher’s is not the only major show to change its plans to return to television amid the contentious strike.
Actress and show host Drew Barrymore recently decided to pause her show’s return after immense backlash to the announcement that it would return despite the strike not being resolved.
SAG-AFTRA members strike at Times Square on August 10, 2023 in New York City. Members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA (Writers Guild of America) have both walked out in their first joint strike against the studios since 1960. (Photo by Zamek/VIEWpress)
CBS’ “The Talk” and the syndicated series “The Jennifer Hudson Show” were both set to return Monday but put those plans on hold.
A statement from CBS provided to FOX News Digital read, “‘The Talk’ is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date.”
Deadline reported “The Jennifer Hudson Show” had similar discussions, including urging from host Jennifer Hudson, to put the premiere on hold.
FOX News Digital reached out to both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Warner Media and did not receive an immediate reply.
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FOX News’ Kristine Parks and Elizabeth Stanton contributed to this report.
Alexander Hall is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Alexander.firstname.lastname@example.org.