"Real Time With Bill Maher" will be making its return to the air, but without its writers.
Viewers can expect a version of the show that has been revised accordingly, but it will "not disappoint," the eponymous host announced Wednesday on social media.
"Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing," Maher shared in a statement. "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."
Maher added that "much of the staff is struggling mightily" and while he appreciates his writers, he was "not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much."
The HBO show is set to return on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. PT, featuring no pre-written monologue, desk piece, "New Rules" segment, or editorial segments, as stated by Maher.
"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," Maher continued. "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."
The Writers Guild of America said in a statement, "The Guild has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Addressing Maher's return to air on social media, WGA stated that his decision to go back on while his guild is on strike "is disappointing. If he goes forward with his plan, he needs to honor more than ‘the spirit of the strike.'"
"As a WGA member, Bill Maher is obligated to follow the strike rules and not perform any writing services," the statement continued. "It is difficult to imagine how Real Time can go forward without a violation of WGA strike rules taking place. WGA will be picketing this show."
As the strikes by writers and actors continue, a number of daytime talk shows, including "The Drew Barrymore Show," "The Talk," "The Jennifer Hudson Show," and "Sherri," have opted to restart production without their regular writers.
The decision comes as "The Drew Barrymore Show" resumed taping in New York on Monday, drawing picketers. On Wednesday, a rehearsal taping of "The Talk" also faced the presence of approximately 50 WGA picketers.
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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