9:01am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Real Time With Bill Maher' Renewed at HBO Through 2018
HBO kicked off its time in front of the Television Critics Association on Saturday with good news for Bill Maher.
The premium cable network has renewed the talk show through 2018, handing out a two-season pickup that slates season 15 in 2017 and season 16 in 2018.
The announcement was made by new programming president Casey Bloys, who noted that the series — which featured coverage from both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions — is averaging 4.4 million total viewers. It ranks as the show's most-watched season since its debut in 2003.
"Bill Maher's fearless and irreverent insights make him an important voice of common sense," Bloys noted. "We are happy to extend our partnership and continue to provide him with the same uncensored forum that he's enjoyed on the network since the late '80s."
Added Maher: "As long as Washington keeps serving up crazy, we'll be there to push it around the plate. In these turbulent, uncertain times, I can't think of anything more important than me being on TV."
Maher is part of a staple of late-night hosts on the cable network that also includes John Oliver, the recently signed Bill Simmons and Jon Stewart, who inked a four-year deal with HBO that includes short-form digital content for HBO Now, HBO Go and other platforms. Also included in the pact is a first-look option for other film and TV ventures.