“We are incredibly proud to continue our longstanding relationship with Bill Maher,” said Casey Bloys, president of programming for HBO. “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.”
Maher is currently in his 15th season hosting “Real Time” for HBO. His renewal includes a deal for a new stand-up special on the premium service.
“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,” said Maher.
The renewal comes just three months after Maher apologized on air for his use of the N-word in an interview with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. Maher’s use of the word while making a joke drew swift condemnation from many corners, but led to no apparent punishment from HBO, which in a statement at the time called Maher’s use of the word “inexcusable and tasteless,” but kept the comedian on the air.
Variety‘s Maureen Ryan wrote in a column the day after Maher uttered the word on-air, “Whether or not ‘Real Time’ continues, Maher should be fired.”
The N-word incident was preceded four months earlier by another controversy, when Maher was criticized for hosting far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos on his show and allowing him to repeat several racist and misogynist claims largely unchallenged.
“Real Time” is executive produced by Maher, Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Brad Grey, Marc Gurvitz, Dean E. Johnsen and Billy Martin.