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The pay cabler has renewed the weekly series through 2020, a deal which includes two more seasons of the political program as well as a stand-up special and a retrospective.
“We are incredibly proud to continue our longstanding relationship with Bill Maher,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said Wednesday in a statement. “As part of the HBO family for nearly 30 years, Bill’s distinctive point of view, coupled with his passion and commitment to insightful and informative entertainment, has remained unparalleled.”
Added Maher: “I’m extraordinarily grateful to HBO for one of the great relationships of my life, and I applaud their efforts to fight ageism by signing me to this extended deal.”
While Real Time has been a staple at HBO for more than a decade — the show is currently in its 15th season — the show hit a major bump in the road earlier this summer when Maher said the n-word on air on June 2. HBO issued a statement the following day calling his language “completely inexcusable and tasteless.” Maher later issued a statement as well, apologizing for using the “offensive” word, and he also apologized the following week on air, saying “I did a bad thing.”
(The word was also edited out of future broadcasts.)
Despite the flap, Real Time was still able to score an Emmy nomination for outstanding variety talk series the following month. In addition to Real Time, HBO also has a second contender in the category, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
Maher’s relationship with HBO dates back to 1989, when he headlined his first stand-up special for the network. His upcoming stand-up special will mark his 11th at HBO, and he joins Jon Stewart, who is also set for a stand-up special at the pay cabler as part of his rich overall deal.
There is no date yet for Maher’s stand-up special or for the retrospective, which will look back at highlights from previous seasons of Real Time.
Maher executive produces the show with Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean E. Johnsen and Billy Martin. Chris Kelly is a co-exec producer, Matt Wood is a producer and Paul Casey serves as director.
Maher also serves as an exec producer on HBO’s newsmagazine Vice, currently in its fifth season.
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