On Monday, Bill Maher took to social media to rescind the previous announcement that his HBO political talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, will return to the air without writers amid the ongoing WGA strike.
“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 said in a statement shared on X (formerly known as 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.”
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Maher previously told followers that he would be leading a stripped-down version of his show, without several writer-driven segments, including his monologue and his end-of-show editorial piece. “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 said last week.
On Sunday, Variety reported that The Jennifer Hudson Show had also pushed back its previously planned Sept. 18 premiere date and paused production amid backlash during the writers’ strike.
Hudson’s nationally syndicated show planned to begin its season without writers and intended to welcome WGA writers back once a new contract was in place.
On the same day, The Talk announced that it will pause the premiere of the upcoming season, amid the Writers Guild of America strike. The daytime show, hosted by Amanda Kloots, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Sheryl Underwood, Natalie Morales and Jerry O’Connell, was set to return for season 14 on Sept. 18. In support of the strike, the show went dark in May.
“The Talk is pausing its season premiere scheduled for Sept. 18. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date,” CBS told ET in a statement.
Before the announcement, the show was set to move forward with the fall premiere of its new season. Last Wednesday, dozens of Writers Guild members protested a rehearsal show.
“The reality is that bringing a show back without your writers is an attempt to devalue our labor and devalue the work that we do,” WGA captain Chris Hazzard told The Hollywood Reporter. “And there’s no way to make a show without writing. So whether that’s picking guests or talking about who’s going to speak when or doing pre-interviews to update your hosts about what the topic is going to be, all of that is writing. And so that work being done is scabbing and we will be out here with a picket sign until it stops.”
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The talk shows’ decisions come after Drew Barrymore shared that she is pausing the return of The Drew Barrymore Show after receiving feedback from others in SAG-AFTRA and the WGA.
Per the outlet, the WGA sent out a note to members confirming the talks. “The WGA and AMPTP now have a confirmed schedule to bargain this week, starting on Wednesday. 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. We’ll reach out again when there is something of significance to report. In the meantime, please continue to demonstrate your commitment and unity by coming out to the picket lines – for yourselves and fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, other unions’ members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes,” the guild noted.
The return to negotiations comes as the writers’ strike reaches its 140th day.
For more on the ongoing SAG-AFTRA/WGA strikes, see ET’s coverage below.